Boys & Girls Club Finds SPORT PPW Improves Youth Wellness

Boys & Girls Club Finds SPORT PPW Improves Youth Wellness

A Boys & Girls Club in New York City implemented the SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) program during the 2023-2024 academic year.

SPORT PPW is a 45-minute evidence-based motivational substance use prevention program designed to promote physical activity, healthy eating, sleep, stress control and goal setting among youth.

A pretest was provided to youth before and a posttest after receiving the SPORT PPW lesson.

A total of 267 youth completed the pretest and 191 completed the posttest survey assessing the effects of participating in the program.

Participating youth were mostly male (57%), African American (61%), and ranged in age primarily from 11 to 14 years old (53%).

Improved Healthy Behaviors

The percentage of youth with intentions to engage in daily healthy behaviors increased from pretest to posttest, including.

  • Physical Activity=8%
  • 8 or More Hours of Sleep=10%
  • Eat Fruits & Vegetables=5%
  • Eat a Healthy Breakfast=12%
  • Practice Stress Control or Relaxation=5%

There was also a 6% decrease in the proportion of youth who expected to feel so sad or hopeless that they’d stop doing stop doing some of their usual activities.

Most Youth Don’t Use Drugs & Increases in Perceived Harmfulness

At posttest, most youth were unlikely or very unlikely to use substances in the future, including,

  • Alcohol=88%
  • Cigarettes=95%
  • Marijuana=91%
  • E-Cigarettes=93%
  • Opioids=89%

Relatedly, the percentage of youth who perceived substance use as harmful to their health or healthy behaviors increased from pretest to posttest, including:

  • Alcohol=8%
  • Marijuana=8%
  • E-Cigarettes=5%
  • Cigarettes=2%
  • Opioids=3%

Youth Reactions to the SPORT PPW Program

Most youth liked the SPORT PPW program at least a little (91%) and even more felt the program helped them avoid drug use and improve their healthy habits (93%).

Written comments from participating youth about what they liked best about the SPORT PPW program included the following:

  • This lesson shows me the dangers of drug and alcohol,
  • It helps me understand that I need to improve my health, etc.. Such as eating better, sleeping more, and helping me set goals into being more physical.
  • It motivated me to have a healthier life,
  • It’s helping me stay away from drugs and alcohol to have a great future.
  • It shows you how to avoid things that will not benefit your heath.
  • It affected my motivation a lot.
  • It helped me learn about drugs and I learned more about myself.
  • I liked how this lesson checks up on you because some kids don't get that certain attention like this lesson.
  • What I liked best was the part where we talked about breakfast.
  • Motivates me to be physically and mentally healthy.
  • This lesson influenced me to stay away from alcohol, vape, cigarette, drugs, etc. I learned that it is unhealthy for your health and your future life.
  • It taught me how to avoid drugs and I learned more about myself.
  • It opened my eyes to the possibilities of living a bad lifestyle.
  • Teaching to stay away from drugs.
  • The lesson taught me about maintaining good self-esteem.
  • It let me know the consequences of drug abuse.
  • I taught me to take care of my health.


Youth receiving the one lesson SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness program at a Boys & Girls Club in New York City improved multiple healthy behaviors associated with mental and physical wellbeing, including physical activity, healthy diet, sleep, and stress control. 

Meanwhile, most youth did not plan to use substances in the future, and their perceived harmfulness of substance use increased, particularly for alcohol, marijuana and e-cigarette consumption.

Lastly, over 9 in 10 youth believed the SPORT PPW program helped them avoid drug use and improved their healthy habits, while youth comments delineated how the program enhanced their health, motivation, happiness and self-esteem.

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