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Executive director of Kidsports Bev Smith
Executive director of Kidsports Bev Smith

What runs and jumps and yells and plays all over? A human child, of course. Bev Smith, executive director of Kidsports and former UO women’s basketball coach, will speak at 6 pm Thursday, May 31, at the downtown library about physical literacy, the social values of team sports and Kidsports.

Smith says that physical literacy is about children learning the building blocks of movement and motor control, which are optimally learned prior to puberty. And the lessons don’t end with the physical. “Being on a team provides life lessons — whether how to win with grace and lose with class, to helping a less skilled teammate, or learning to find your place and role within all the different talents of your team,” Smith says.

With physical education programs diminishing in public schools, Kidsports offers another avenue for children to get involved with sports and learn physical literacy. And it doesn’t leave out lower-income kids, due to its scholarship program. Smith says fundraising can be a challenge to make sure that coaches get mandatory education and make scholarship funding available, but educational and health grant opportunities help.

To learn more see kidsports.org