Programs

Sports matter.

According to this infographic created by the Aspen Institute’s Project Play, active kids are more likely to excel in school, be successful at work, have less health issues, and have children who are also active. Sports are an important tool to keep kids active, yet fewer kids are playing and staying in the game.

Aspen Institute Sports Society Project Play Infographic showing the research shows that youth sports have compounding benefits to make kids and adults active, healthy and successful

The average family now spends almost $700 a year per youth athlete on sports.1 At such a high cost, low income families are being left behind. In fact, only 22% of kids ages 6-12 from families making less than $25,000 per year played a sport on a regular basis in 2018 compared to 34% in 2012. By comparison, 43% of kids from households making $100,000 or more played sports in 2018.2

We believe every kid who wants to play a sport should get to play a sport. Cost should not be a barrier to participation. We aim to help those in need get in the game through our financial assistance grant program.

African American youth sports teen boy basketball player shooting a basketball on a basketball court

In addition to rising costs resulting in low income families having significant need for access to high-quality sports programs, kids are quitting sports at the average age of 11, mostly because it’s not fun anymore.3 Once All Kids Play gets kids into fun high-quality sports programs through our grant program, our team focuses on keeping them in the game with motivation and life skills education that ensure sustained engagement.

In addition, youth sports families are concerned about the mental, physical and emotional health of their kids. That is why our educational program also includes health and nutrition education to ensure that kids live a healthy and productive life. Specifically, kids are specializing in one sport earlier, with the average number of team sports played by kids ages 6-12 less than 2.4 Specializing in one sport too early can lead to burnout, injury and quitting at an early age.  Parents are also concerned about injuries, yet as of 2018, only about a quarter of coaches had been trained in the previous year in CPR and Basic First Aid, Concussion Management, and General Safety and Injury Prevention.4

Kids are more likely to stay in the game when they have a safe, healthy, and positive youth sports experience. Coach, parent and athlete education is key to creating a healthy environment in which kids enjoy sports, stay engaged and have less risk of injury. That is why we are committed to providing impactful educational materials focused on Motivation and Life Skills Education and Health and Nutrition Education.

Female coach with youth sports girls soccer team in a huddle coaching and teaching during a game on a soccer field

1Aspen Institute/Utah State University 2019 National Youth Sport Survey (1,032 youth sports parents)
2Sports & Fitness Industry Association via the Aspen Institute Project Play State of Play 2019
3Aspen Institute/Utah State University 2019 National Youth Sport Survey (1,032 youth sports parents)
4Sports & Fitness Industry Association via the Aspen Institute Project Play State of Play 2019