• Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

The Importance of Family Support in Youth Sports


Sep 19, 2023
The Importance of Family Support in Youth Sports

During a recent cross country meet at Kituwah, hosted by Swain Co. High School, I had the opportunity to witness the strong support of families at sporting events. While taking photos of the high school girls race, I noticed Cherokee runner Livia Crowe’s grandmother, Mick Crowe, also in the frame, cheering her on. This display of family support is a common occurrence at sporting events for many families within the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

The Crowe family is just one example of the many families who show their support by cheering on their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other relatives at various events. It’s not uncommon for players to have their own cheering section comprised of extended family members. For example, the Tramper family proudly wears t-shirts with an image of Levi Tramper sacking an opponent during a JV Braves game. These displays of support are just a few recent examples that come to mind.

An article published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health titled “The Role of Parental Involvement in Youth Sport Experience” emphasizes the importance of parental support in sports participation. The article explains that parent support has been linked to various factors, including a child’s enjoyment and enthusiasm for sports, autonomy, and self-perception of sport skill.

The famous quote by Michael J. Fox, “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything,” perfectly encapsulates the significance of family support in the lives of these young athletes. Hearing the cheers and receiving support from their family members means the world to them. What’s unique about the Cherokee community is that even those who don’t have a large or traditional family are embraced and cheered for just the same.

In these challenging times, it is crucial to continue cheering, supporting, and spreading positivity. We need as much of that as we can get.

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