Sports academy aims to create healthier community with outdoor activities
Since mid-2020, the isolation that came with the COVID-19 pandemic has levied mental and physical tolls with many stuck indoors and separated from the activities that promote stable wellbeing.
Children are especially affected by this absence of action, prompting a North Texas athletic academy to kick operations into overtime.
Skyhawks Sports Academy, the nation’s leading provider of sports programs for ages 4 – 14 years, saw record attendance last summer, inspiring a greater interest to keep children active through the fall and winter months. And for good reason.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a CDC study shows childhood obesity was magnified at an alarming rate. In fact, just six months into the pandemic, an estimated 22% of children and teens were considered obese, up from 19% the year before with the most dramatic increases affecting kids between the ages of 6 to 11.
These studies suggest a two-fold dilemma with decreased activity coupled with an increase of sedentary behaviors like too much television and screen time.
Tony Cavalle, owner of the DFW Skyhawks franchise, is certainly excited about the influx of active campers he’s seeing.
“When we opened up after the initial shutdown, we saw our attendance fly through the roof,” Cavalle said. “Since there was such a long stretch of inactivity, both kids and parents have been super excited to get back out there and get active.”
Tony says his program is designed to help youths all year long.
“It’s a great way for them to participate in sports, learn the benefits of physical fitness and is really just a big positive all around.”
Jason Frazier, COO and President of Skyhawks Sports corporate, feels the same.
“It’s always been our mission to instill confidence and a positive self-image, but the pandemic has made these goals even more important,” Frazier said. “As many families and kids spend time indoors, we want to make sure they have the outlet they need to continue the progress we saw during the summer. Sports is a training ground for life, and we’re teaching how to overcome obstacles and boost confidence in yourself and others.”
As far as staying healthy even amid the pandemic, Skyhawks has implemented measures to ensure their kids are COVID protected including face-covering policies and contactless check-in.
“Our program is also largely outdoors,” Cavalle said. “Which is good because it allows kids the opportunity to be active and creates an environment that is safer against the spread of germs.”