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Grow community support for youth athletics

Youth sports help to improve children's academic success, afford them the opportunity to mingle with peers and encourages a healthy, fitness-centric lifestyle. But sometimes the efforts that go on behind the scenes of youth athletics are overlooked. Maintaining a strong youth sports culture is not only good for the athletes, but the community as well.

Coaches, many of whom are participating as a volunteer, help to encourage kids on the field and promote positive sportsmanship. But the support needs to spread through entire towns and communities.

Cities across the U.S. fight for support and funds to keep athletics from being ceased in communities. As an effort to maintain these programs, local charities, families and organizations strive to raise awareness of the importance of athletics. Parents can make a difference in their town by joining forces with other parents, planning fundraisers and building local pride.

"There was a ground swell of people that said we need support and money for youth sports, and it just became apparent that that was one of the big areas that we overlooked as a city government," Tom Smith, a Fort Wayne City Councilman told WANE-TV.

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