Children ages 5 to 9 have higher rates of playground injuries than any other age group. Most of these injuries occur at school (Phelan 2001). LA County also has the lowest ratio of soccer fields to residents (4 per 100K). By turning LA's poorest schools' playgrounds into turf fields for dreams we can create a safer place to play without fear of injury, resulting in healthier, more active children, while also providing a solution to the growing childhood obesity epidemic and lack of soccer fields
In a 2016 study of "Youth Sports in LA County" by the LA84 Foundation, one of the significant findings showed soccer as the most popular youth sport in LA County with 30% of youth participating (twice the national average of 15%) yet access to soccer fields is 4 times lower than the national average with only 4 fields per 100,000 residents. Additionally, children ages 5 to 9 have higher rates of playground injuries than any other age group. Most of these injuries occur at school (Phelan 2001).
Currently, low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles lack safe spaces for children and families to gather and engage in physical activity and play. By turning Los Angeles' school playground's asphalt into a turf field for dreams we can provide additional access to soccer fields while also creating a safer place to play without fear of injury, resulting in healthier, more active children, and also providing a solution to the growing childhood obesity epidemic.
The creation of safe turf play spaces where there is currently asphalt will change the built environment of under-served LA neighborhoods and increase physical activity of its residents, thus reducing the risk among adults to develop chronic diseases like heart disease and type II diabetes while reducing the risk in children to become overweight and/or obese. In addition, safe places to gather and play, build community connection and increase the social capital of neighborhood residents.