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

Back in the Game Campaign

As more people get vaccinated now that all adults are vaccine eligible in the U.S. and with youth sports resuming in underserved communities in accordance with local and state health guidelines, families in these communities are facing significant financial challenges to get their kids back in the game. The Back in the Game Campaign is aimed at raising funds to enable All Kids Play to identify and award through our National Grant Challenge at least one youth sports grant to a financially disadvantaged family that values youth sports in each of the 50 states including Washington D.C. The ultimate goal of the Back in the Game Campaign is to ensure that the kids helped through All Kids Play’s National Grant Challenge not only get back in the game, but thrive as student-athletes for years to come with sustained engagement in high-quality sports programs with the support of their parent(s), coaches, teammates and All Kids Play.

To help get kids back in the game, please consider donating at our Donate page.

Sports Grant Program

The average family now spends almost $900 a year per youth athlete on sports.1 At such a high cost, low income families are being left behind. In fact, only 23% of kids ages 6-12 from families making less than $25,000 per year played a sport on a regular basis in 2019 compared to 34% in 2012. By comparison, 43% of kids from households making $100,000 or more played sports in 2019.2

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 2019, only about one third of coaches had been trained in the previous year in CPR and Basic First Aid, Concussion Management, and General Safety and Injury Prevention.4

Education Program

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 2020 National Youth Sport Survey
2Sports & Fitness Industry Association via the Aspen Institute Project Play State of Play 2020
3Aspen Institute/Utah State University 2019 National Youth Sport Survey
4Sports & Fitness Industry Association via the Aspen Institute Project Play State of Play 2020