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Sport For All Initiative
The Sport for All initiative strives to educate all Americans on the benefits associated with sport participation. The value of sports goes beyond reaching the recommended levels of physical activity. Participation in sports can support social and personal development and health throughout life. The Sport for All initiative engages the Council and influential leaders across sectors to uplift the benefits associated with sports participation and shares strategies that can help increase access to sports for youth. This effort focuses on emphasizing a core theme of “sport for all, play for life” through encouraging people of all ages, genders, ability levels, and backgrounds to participate in sports.
The President’s Council is working to reimagine youth sports in America. Fewer than half of adolescents are meeting the recommended 60 minutes a day of play.1 Some of the barriers to play are a lack of access to physical activities that are inclusive, fun and able to meet the developmental needs of our youth.
As a key partner of the Aspen Institute's Project Play Initiative, the President’s Council explores opportunities that extend the benefits of sports participation to all youth in America. In January 2015, Project Play released, Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game, a report that offers eight strategies to make sports participation a meaningful, accessible and safe option for all youth.
The Eight Project Play strategies include:
- Ask Kids What They Want: Identifying and incorporating youth generated ideas on what makes sports fun.
- Reintroduce Free Play: Encouraging unstructured neighborhood play.
- Encourage Sports Sampling: Promoting youth to participate in multiple sports and avoiding early specialization.
- Revitalize In-Town Leagues: Creating more pathways to sport-specific local leagues to supplement school and after school programs.
- Think Small: Rethinking use of sporting fields and facilities to allow more kids to play.
- Design for Development: Adopting coaching and training practices that are best fit for the developmental needs of youth (ex. American Development Model).
- Train All Coaches: Ensuring coaches are equipped with the appropriate training to mentor youth and assist with skill development.
- Emphasize Prevention: Protecting the safety of youth and limiting risk of injury.
To learn more about the Project Play report, visit: http://youthreport.projectplay.us/.
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