ON THE SIDELINES: Family support is crucial for youth sports

by Sep 19, 2023SPORTS di-ne-lv-di-yi0 comments


One Feather Asst. Editor


KITUWAH – During a cross country meet, hosted by Swain Co. High School, at Kituwah on a recent misty morning, I witnessed something I see time and time again at sporting events – family support.  As I was taking photos of the high school girls race, I lined up for a shot of Cherokee’s Livia Crowe when I noticed that her grandmother, Mick Crowe, was also in the frame and was cheering her on.

As Cherokee’s Livia Crowe, right, runs in the high school girls cross country race at Kituwah on Saturday, Sept. 16, her grandmother, Mick Crowe, left, cheers her on. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photo)

I see the Crowe family at many events cheering and supporting their kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc.  They are one family of many within the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians who does this.  It’s quite common for players to have their own cheering section of extended family members.

Recently, members of the Tramper family had t-shirts made with an image I got at a JV Braves game of Levi Tramper sacking an Avery Co. player in the end zone for a safety.  They proudly wear those shirts and support Levi.  I could list example after example of this and fill up the One Feather, and these are just a few of the recent ones that come to mind.

An August 2021 article in the National Library of Medicine’s International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health entitled “The Role of Parental Involvement in Youth Sport Experience” speaks to this support.

It states, “Parent support has been linked to several factors related to sports participation such as child enjoyment and enthusiasm, autonomy, and self-perception of sport skill.”

Michael J. Fox once said, “Family is not an important thing.  It’s everything.”

To these young athletes, it has to mean the world to them to hear the cheers and support from their family members.  And, the keen thing about the Cherokee community is that even those who don’t have a large family or even really a family at all are taken in and cheered for all the same.

Keep cheering, keep supporting, and keep the positivity flowing. We need as much of that these days as we can get.