Physical fitness is an important benefit of sports participation. Physical recreation programs in the community may be a cost-effective means of preventing secondary health conditions, such as obesity and diabetes, resulting from low levels of fitness. Just like their non-disabled peers, children with disabilities need an outlet for their physical energy. Physical activity increases a child's ability to cope with stress and anxiety. Self-esteem and building friendships follow closely as another benefit of participation. Socialization is important to mental health and well-being and can help a child be more self-sufficient and confident.
Another valuable lesson all children could learn is that it is okay not to win. Learning skills, setting goals, having fun, and being part of a team are important experiences. Children and youth with disabilities see another benefit as well; with resources and support to enable them to participate freely in fitness and recreation, they can begin to challenge some of the barriers and just have fun like everyone else.