Photo: Aspen Institute Project Play
Sofia Velasquez, 15, enjoys playing soccer for her Chicago high school, but games keep getting canceled because rival teams can’t field enough players.
Credit: Aspen Institute 2021
“Student interested in school sports has nosedived since the start of the pandemic,” reports Ariel Gans for Education Week.
Nearly 3 in 10 students who were athletes pre-pandemic are no longer interested in playing organized sports, according to a poll by the Aspen Institute and Utah State.
At one high school, the percentage of overweight and obese students more than doubled in the 2020-21 school year, when schools were shut down for five months, reports a recently published study. Fitness, as assessed by jumping, sprinting, and agility tests, declined too.
Velasquez said her classmates “feel a lot lazier. No one really wants to try in sports or clubs or anything.”
“I think one possibility could be being so used to not having to do anything, because when we were in online school, I know that people could be very lazy and to themselves,” she added. “They got used to that habit of not trying, especially because online classes are so easy to pass.”
Closing schools and isolating children has done a great deal of harm.