Re: How to make T&F/distance running more popular in the US?

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#13197

Bart
Member
Ryan wrote:
Well, as I remember it, T&F was the highest participation sport in US high schools when I was in school. Just recently, I saw it stated that T&F and c-c combined ranked as the second highest participation sport in US high schools. The problem isn’t a lack of participation, it’s a lack of interest in the sport by those participants.

While there are a large number of high school athletes participating in c-c and T&F, a lot of them do it as a means to stay in shape for other sports. When I was in high school, we had a couple of guys who ran c-c to get in shape for basketball and many of the football players participated in T&F (partially because both teams used some of the same coaches).

Ryan wrote:
On the other hand, it would be nice to see more youth T&F/running programs. There are youth soccer and football programs all over the place. Why not T&F/running, too?

I think this is the key to long-term growth of American T&F. Look at soccer. When I was in high school (in Southern California), there was only one person on our high school soccer team whose first language was English. Americans simply didn’t play soccer. Now, I would guess that it’s the most popular youth sport in the country. This growth might not have translated into big tv ratings for soccer matches or a booming success for the MLS, but I would guess that in ten years, soccer will be a major professional sport in this country.

Bart