What is Kidsports?
Kidsports is a private non-profit organization in Oregon that provides youth sports programs for pre-K through 12th graders in Eugene/Springfield and surrounding areas. Kidsports teaches children and families the value of physical fitness, sportsmanship, practice and teamwork through sports and activities. Knowledgeable coaches and officials allow each player to achieve their personal best while having fun. All children have the opportunity to play. Sports programs and activities are open to any child who is able to participate regardless of race, religion, creed, sex, ability, or financial status.
Kidsports is the only multi-sport provider in Lane County offering 9 sports each sports calendar year.
Since 1953, Kidsports has been dedicated to providing positive youth team sports experiences through family and community involvement that is based on the philosophy All Kids Play.
All Kids Play is a cornerstone to our organization. Our programs are open to any child who is able to participate regardless of race, religion, creed, sex, ability or financial status.
Kidsports programs are designed to:
- Provide a source of recreation for all children.
- Provide children with an opportunity to learn about sports and improve their athletic skills through participation and competition.
- Give children a chance to grow socially by learning teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play.
Kidsports offers: Football (Flag and Tackle), Soccer (Spring and Fall), Volleyball, Basketball, Lacrosse, Softball & Baseball
Last year, Kidsports provided $228,494 in scholarships for 4,002 kids in the community. The average fee is $75 per sport.
There are multiple ways Kidsports can assist financially! Click below to learn more about scholarships.
A Brief History
Emerald Kidsports was founded in 1953 to provide Eugene with a youth sports program. It started in the winter of 1953 with ten basketball teams. The vision was competitive athletics within the framework of good sportsmanship and equal participation for all. It served only boys until 1974 when sports for girls were added and the group became the Eugene Sports Program. The program uses public facilities and has received a modest subsidy from the city of Eugene since 1974, but it does not rely on direct tax support. Participation fees are supplemented by donations and sponsorships. Additional youth teams participate on an out-of-district basis along with joining local teams for tournaments/leagues in all sports.
In 1968, Eugene Mayor Gus Keller said that such a program couldn’t be managed by the city for less than twice the cost. And former Mayor of Eugene, Jim Torrey, has said it’s the best program around in bringing families, the youth and the neighborhoods together in a friendly, fun and safe manner. Kidsports is a community effort, with the schools helping with the facilities, the community supplying the volunteers, and businesses helping to supply funds to operate the program.
Why is playing multiple sports is so important?
Specializing can put your child at higher risk for injury.
Growth in multiple sports is vital to being a well-rounded athlete.
Multi-Sport athletes have higher academic scores
Multi-Sport Athletes are less likely to “Burn-Out”
Cross training only benefits youth athletes
Playing multiple sports makes youth athletes better competitors
Notable Quotes from Top Athletes…
“One of the worst things to happen to the game, in my opinion, has been year-round hockey… …All the good hockey players seemed to play lacrosse in those days and everyone of them learned something from the game to carry over to the other – things athletes can only learn by mixing up the games they play when they are young.”
(pretty decent hockey player)
“The early teens are a difficult age because definitely you want your kids to grow up and do whatever they want to do; you don’t want to push them too hard in one particular sport. My parents allowed me to play volleyball and softball and basketball and soccer at one time and I loved it. I was playing all these other sports so it wasn’t too much wear on the soccer field and it wasn’t too much wear on a repetitive exercise.”
USA Women’s Soccer
“Today, a lot of kids individualize in a specific sport. I think one of the things that helped me most was playing everything. I played basketball, I played football, I ran track. I even played soccer one year, [and] I played baseball. I think it allowed me to recruit different muscles [and] work on different things that I normally wouldn’t. And, it gave me a greater appreciation for the sport that I’ve come to love.”
WR for the Arizona Cardinals
College Coaches Love Multi-Sport Athletes.
“Don’t succumb to the pressure that your kid ‘has to do this’ (specialize in one sport) to get to the next level. The myth is that if you miss this tournament or that camp that you won’t make it. That’s not true. I don’t feel like you get the best out of kids when they are playing a sport nine months out of the year. Nothing feels really special anymore, because they are playing all the time and feel like they have to be at every tournament.”
Scott Marr, head coach of University of Albany Lacrosse
2016 NFL Draft
Multi-Sport athletes took over the 2016 NFL Draft. 224 of the 253 2016 draft picks played multiple sports in High School. Not only do the pro’s like well-rounded athletes, so do college programs (read more below).
Every 12 months, 1 million youth athletes specializing in a single sport will experience an “overuse” related injury that could be prevented by playing multiple sports.