Native Americans are 2.2 times more likely to have diabetes than Caucasians. Childhood obesity is more than two times more common among Native American/Alaskan Native children (31%) than among any other racial or ethnic group studied. Native American/ Alaskan Native children ages 2-4 are the only demographic that have seen a continuing increase in obesity levels since 2003. These statistics are certainly alarming, and Inter Tribal Sports is committed to help reverse the trends.
In addition to providing athletics programs that promote physical activity, ITS has begun establishing a network of resources and partnerships that will lead to a brighter and healthier future for the youth and families we serve.
In 2011, we officially joined First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! in Indian Country initiative. Our commitments to the initiative include:
- Implement a new younger age division to introduce youth to sports at a younger age, with an emphasis on encouraging continued participation in organized sports.
- Provide outreach to schools and after school tutoring programs on Indian reservations within the service area by providing a physical activity assembly.
- Increase overall participation in youth sports leagues by 10% during the next year.
- Establish a Nutrition Sub-Committee within our board of directors that will promote healthy food choices and help ensure that vendors and menu options at ITS events meet reasonable nutrition standards.
In October 2011 ITS established a formal partnership with Notah Begay, III Foundation. ITS and the NB3 Foundation have committed to work together to combat the obesity and diabetes epidemics through evidence-based youth soccer and golf programming.
ITS partners with the American Diabetes Association’s and their “Awakening the Spirit” program, specifically targeted at Native Americans, to provide resources and outreach to the communities we serve. ITS works with ADA to create awareness, conduct health fairs, health screenings, and other community outreach efforts.
Indian Health Care Providers
Since 2010, ITS has participated in and supported numerous events and programs, including health fairs and school assemblies, in collaboration with the Indian health centers and clinics. Our partners include Indian Health Council, Southern Indian Health Clinic, and Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health.