REFERENCE: Hickmann, S. A., Allert, C., Sallis, J. F., Hovell, M. F., Hofstetter, R. S., Tai, M. (1994). Say YES to Sports and NO to tobacco: A fun and effective community outreach program for high risk youth in San Diego. Journal of Health Education, 25, 316-317.

"Say YES to Sports" (SYTS) is an outreach program of the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum. The program is designed to serve youth, ages 10-18 years old who are at high risk (Iow income, ethnic minority, or parents use tobacco) in San Diego county, at after-school and community sports sites. It encourages young people to get involved in sports as an alternative to using drugs (including alcohol and tobacco) or joining gangs. Students receive daily instruction and supervision in various types of sports play. In addition to the physical activity intervention, a unique smoking prevention component has been added. The tobacco-use (cigarettes and chewing tobacco) prevention portion of SYTS is based on principles recommended by the National Cancer Institute's Standards for Comprehensive Smoking Prevention and Control (1989) which recommends "brief educational messages via a number of different avenues; coaches, youth service agencies, social organizations, and neighborhood centers. SYTS provides the opportunity for youth to develop or maintain goals or behaviors inconsistent with drug use, participation in physical activity and sports.

In addition to sports instruction, participants receive a weekly Sports Card curriculum from their coaches featuring both male and female athletes and their statements for a healthy lifestyle. All coaches are trained by the Hall of Champions to use the cards as a springboard to a short discussion about smoking, using scripted discussion prompts provided with the sports cards. Some cards are used to develop young people's refusal, goal setting, and problem solving skills. Other cards focus on the problems associated with tobacco use. There are 26 weeks of cards available in the entire series. Participants receive a free membership to the Sports Museum, tickets to local sports games, and an opportunity to win prizes.

The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of an innovative community program for youth on physical activity and smoking.


Back to Library