Youth Enrichment through Sport: The YES Ghana Model

It’s no secret that youth today in the United States (U.S.) and around the world face mounting public health challenges in their daily lives. Factors such as obesity, alcohol use, and engagement in se-ual activity continue to be top of mind for public health professionals, government officials, parents, and most recently; parks and recreation professionals. When administered in an appropriate and professional manner, these programs can help youth develop key life skills such as self-confidence, self-efficacy, and empathy. In addition, if parks and recreation professionals also take on the responsibility of positively impacting public health issues, these same programs can also create change in population well-being. This paper outlines one such program that we believe can serve as a model for using recreational sports programs as the mechanism to intervene in negative youth health behaviors. The Youth Enrichment through Sport (YES) Ghana program was a two-year endeavor funded through the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs within the U.S. Department of State to encourage a cultural exchange and provide a sustainable and effective program model to impact public health for the youth in the Cape Coast region of Ghana, Africa. Although developed and implemented thousands of miles away, lessons learned can easily be applied to many regions of the United States toward the development and administration of a recreational sports program. Such programs would have the potential to make an impact on the public health population.

Publication Date:
Date Submitted:
Feb 27 2019
Recreation, Parks, and Tourism in Public Health, 1
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 Record created 2019-02-27, last modified 2019-04-03

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