Stanton’s four daughters smile and pose together as they get ready to run a 5k in their town.
Stanton’s four daughters smile and pose together as they get ready to run a 5k in their town.

A new era of athletes

Sports pass down to younger generations

May 19, 2023

In some families, being active and participating in sports is very important. Not only to stay healthy, but many times, the sport has a special place in the family. The sport sometimes holds a certain value that the family has or the sport allows for the family to be closer. Whatever the reason, the sport usually becomes part of their family and passed down through generations. 

Laura Stanton, English teacher, grew up running track and playing basketball, and the sports became very influential in her life; so influential in fact, that she has encouraged her children to participate in them. Her two oldest daughters, who are twins, are very passionate about playing sports.

“I had [the twins] do some 5K’s in the fall because they were interested in it, but I couldn’t find any sort of kid running programs [in the fall]. There’s Girls on the Run, which they’re doing now and they really enjoy it but it’s only in the spring,” Stanton said.

Stanton’s twin daughters, as well as her younger children, also participate in swim lessons; some of her children even want to join the swim team. Stanton had coached swimming for several years and her husband was a professional swimmer so their children were very encouraged to swim.

“I would say their primary sport is swimming which I didn’t do. I coached it for many years, but my husband was an amazing swimmer. He got them into swimming. We started them off with just swim lessons and they all like it a lot,” Stanton said. “My six year old, who is in swim lessons now, probably likes swimming the most out of her sisters. She even wants to join the swim team over the summer so she’s going to try out for that.”

When children are young, their parents are usually the ones who get them involved in sports and activities. Just like Stanton was able to encourage her daughters to join sports, Richard Suvi, junior, had parents who had participated in judo and were able to influence Suvi to do the sport as well.

“I got into judo when I was in kindergarten. I guess my parents wanted me to start a sport at a young age so I can be active. And there weren’t many other sports that I wanted to do at a young age, but I’m glad I chose judo,” Suvi said.

Both Suvi’s parents and Stanton’s parents value the benefits of the sports that they encouraged their children to play. According to Suvi, in every sport, there are specific aspects that make the sport special and beneficial both physically and mentally.

“I like judo because unlike a lot of sports, judo focuses a lot more on mental strength rather than physical strength. And there’s less injuries which is nice too,” Suvi said.

However, Stanton got her children involved in sports because of the physical benefits. According to an article written by a MSU extension, titled Benefits of children being active, being involved in sports starting at a young age can reduce risk of heart problems later in life and improve mental stability. 

“My husband and I think it’s important to expose [my children] to different things that require various skills. Basketball is very different from running because running is such a mental sport whereas basketball is more ball skills,” Stanton said. “It’s not necessarily about having them build a bunch of physical skills, but more about introducing my kids to different things where they learn various things. I want them to have all these different skill sets.”

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