Today's youth sports climate overflows with programming, making it challenging for organizations to stand out among the crowd, and difficult for parents to gauge which ones can deliver high-quality experiences for young athletes.
To help organizations and families, the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) has unveiled the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation.
Like the Good Housekeeping Seal given to household products that meet high standards, this Quality Program Provider designation recognizes those organizations that have met an equally high standard when it comes to administering youth sports programming. Any organization can apply to be evaluated for the designation, and no cost is involved.
“Parents typically have lots of questions and valid concerns when deciding where to enroll their child,” says John Engh, executive director of NAYS. “We have taken the guesswork out of this important time in a young person’s life. When parents see that a program has the Quality Program Provider designation they will know that we have already asked all the tough questions that they may not have even considered or perhaps were afraid of bringing up.”
Additionally, the designation enables organizations to showcase the quality of its programs and highlight the benefits of children being involved in its offerings.
“Our department recognizes that we have to actively demonstrate that we are providing the very best youth sports programs that meet all the needs of children in our community,” says Rance Gaede, recreation supervisor for the City of Tamarac (Fla.). “Parents have many choices when it comes to youth sports, so the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation is an important promotional tool to allow our city to set ourselves apart from the rest. Plus, it gives parents confidence in our programs since they can feel secure that their child is getting the chance to participate in a high-quality program and develop valuable life skills in the process.”
A youth sports program earns the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation if it fulfills all the components associated with these five key requirements:
• Written Policies and Procedure
• Volunteer Screening
• Coach Training
• Parent Education
Within each of these five areas are important details that can sabotage experiences and ruin young lives that organizations must prove they address in order to earn the designation, such as if written policies exist regarding playing time; if concussion awareness information is disseminated to coaches; if volunteers are subject to background checks and social security number verification; if the organization has a system for receiving and responding to complaints; if the organization solicits feedback to evaluate programs; and more.
“Organizations that earn this designation will stand out within their community for demonstrating that they have taken a proactive approach on some tough issues and are providing youth sports programs of the highest standard,” Engh says. “Parents have a lot of genuine concerns these days and when they see the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation they can take comfort knowing their child is in the best place possible to learn and compete in sports.”
Anyone interested in having their organization evaluated for the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation can apply at nays.org/quality. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 729-2057 with questions.
National Alliance for Youth Sports, Inc
2050 Vista Parkway
West Palm Beach, Florida 33411
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