Sports and activities as popular as ever in Colorado high schools

Teenagers may be spending more time than ever connecting to the world digitally, but they’re also participating in sports and other student activities at an unprecedented rate as well – especially in Colorado.

According to a report from the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA), of the 237,276 students enrolled in the CHSAA’s member schools in 2016-17 (the latest statistics) 83.8 percent, or 194,618 students, participate in music, speech, student leadership and athletics.

Colorado is matching a national trend, with more high school students participating in athletics and activities than ever before.

“Colorado has always had strong participation numbers, reflecting the importance of the values you learn by participating in a community-based program. These students are learning to be a part of something bigger than themselves, about how the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back. They learn about success and failure, about working together to make something work,” Commissioner Paul Angelico said in the CHSAA report release.

Colorado’s participation rate is one of the highest in the country, according to the CHSAA. Of those 232,276 students, 139,969 (60.26%) participate in athletics; and, coupled with the 54,649 students participating in student leadership, speech and music, that number jumps to 194,618 participants, representing a participation rate of 83.79%.

Football, with 16,686 students participating, is the single largest participatory sport. Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball together have 16,261 participants. Meanwhile, 40,195 students participate in music programs, both vocal and instrumental, across the state making it the largest activity sanctioned by the CHSAA.

Those figures are a big win for athletics and activities, considering the round-the-clock access to the digital world these days.

According to a Pew Research Center study published in 2015, “92% of teens report going online daily — with 24% using the internet ‘almost constantly,’ 56% going online several times a day, and 12% reporting once-a-day use.”

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