Make It Healthy, Make It fun with Galactic Sports
The Galactic Sports program uses sports as a vehicle to promote appropriate development, healthy lifestyles and fundamental values among children ages 6-17 years old. The goal is to not only increase physical activity, but also create positive attitudes, knowledge, skills and self-efficacy of the participating children, in regard to: healthy eating, sleep, and emotional wellbeing. Over the next year Gasol foundation will reach all 5 districts in LA to increase accessibility to sports for all children through the LA County park system.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
Green Space, Park Access, and Trees
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
San Gabriel Valley
San Fernando Valley
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Expand existing project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
The program addresses the health issue of childhood obesity through the setting of recreation. The percentage of children affected by obesity has tripled since the 1970's and currently 1 in 5 school aged youth are obese in the US. The LACDPH reports that 23% of children in the county are obese. Like many of the health disparities, obesity disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities from low-income communities, especially African Americans and Latinos. County of LA Department of Parks and Recreation provides a safe and enriching environment for youth to participate in physical activity. Parks help keep communities fit and healthy; for children it is a safe place to learn and play. Currently, 1 in 4 children participate in the recommended physical activity everyday and in LA, 38% of the residents said they got most of their exercise by using parks and parks programming. Engaging youth in sports programming local parks is creating opportunities for Angelinos to be active.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
Galactic Sports was launched in collaboration with the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club in the fall of 2020. The program uses sports and physical activity as a vehicle to promote appropriate development, healthy lifestyles and fundamental values within vulnerable children and their families. Physical activity is one of the lifestyle factors that determines growth and development of children and plays an important role in obesity and chronic disease prevention. The Galactic Sports program will be carried out throughout the 2022-2023 school year with children attending the after-school activities at 5 Los Angeles County Parks; one in each of LA County’s Supervisorial Districts. Galactic Sports consists of 3 sports; basketball, soccer and track and field. These are the sports that are typically organized at the county parks, middle and high school level. Galactic Sports will introduce children to the fundamentals of the sports while promoting holistic health and wellness. Each sports cycle is ten weeks in duration. The program is implemented once a week for 1 hour. Every sport starts with the basic skills and builds up from week to week ending with a scrimmage. The health topics addressed will be physical activity, healthy eating, sleep and emotional well-being. The program is designed to be co-ed, all-inclusive and for all levels of fitness. In addition, groups of children will be broken down based on age and activities can be adapted based on skill.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Gasol Foundation focuses its energy and resources on promoting and transmitting healthy lifestyles within low income communities involving children, youth, and their families through our programs, activities, and initiatives. The Galactic Sports program addresses the need to provide sustainable solutions that have a significant impact on the healthy habits of children. This program will empower children ages 6-12 to practice sports and physical activity, healthy eating, adequate sleep, and emotional well-being leading to an increase in wellness and decreased rates of obesity in LA. We will bring together local health, educational and recreational organizations in a collaborative effort to address this need, becoming the backbone of well being that children and families in our community can depend on. During the grant period, Gasol Foundation aims to reach 500 youth in sports programming at local parks, meanwhile working on the expansion to more county parks the following year.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
Evaluation is an integral part of Gasol Foundation’s programs. Quantitative data will be from surveys that measure changes in psychosocial predictors: attitude, knowledge, self-efficacy and skill. Psychosocial predictors relate to an individual’s decision making skills. It measures if the participant is likely to engage in healthy behavior due to the program and it is gathered through a survey. Data will be collected before and after the program. The qualitative data is testimonials from participants. The Galactic Sports program was piloted during the Fall of 2020 and Spring of 2021. The evaluation measured; increased average scores in attitudes, self-efficacy, knowledge and skills for healthy eating, a rise in knowledge for sports & physical activity, improvement in attitude for sleep and improvement in attitude for emotional well-being. Testimonials showed positive reception of the program. Aiyana, (9) “ I learned how to race better and I would like to be in Galactic Sports again!”
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 500
Indirect Impact: 500