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The purpose of this article is to examine the role of school-based extracurricular initiatives in facilitating immediate and long-term positive impact on physical activity, healthy behavior, and obesity in children. A critique of the role of various sports-related initiatives that have been developed to address the obesity epidemic currently facing children within the United States is provided, with a specific emphasis on intramural sports as a preferred mechanism to encourage long-term involvement in sport and physically active pursuits. The article presents support for the notion that a physical education curriculum that includes intramurals before, during, and after school can help children learn the skills to enjoy participation in a variety of sports designed to facilitate lifelong active living.
Bocarro, Kanters, and Casper are with the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. Forrester is with the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada.