There are numerous ways you can take action in your community to help reimagine youth sports, physical activity, and outdoor recreation. The ideas below were developed through interviews, focus groups, meetings with the State of Play: Seattle-King County Advisory Board, and conversations with community stakeholders.

Graphic describing the "d" grade given to stakeholders in Seattle-King County

  • Develop creative field-scheduling solutions: Parks departments could reduce feeds to encourage practices during less desirable times and provide real-time, online schedule access with payment options. 
  • Offer youth and teen pickup games on the weekends and in the summer: Emphasize free play, not intense practice or winning. Allow community members who cannot afford programming to participate for free at least once weekly. 
  • Develop beginner-orientated programming for outdoor recreation: Be open to nontraditional sports. Host a lesson in multiple languages on hiking basics; provide a list of nearby trails and how to get there inexpensively and safely.
  • Offer free coach-training for issues in all sports: Provide training in trauma-informed coaching or youth development. Promote this event early and often, especially in underserved communities. Include vouchers for free transportation, parking and/or game tickets to incentivize participation. 
  • Connect with other pro teams to invest in youth sports and physical activity jointly: Leverage visibility and credibility for one long-term solution to get more kids active. Devote 1% of annual revenue toward youth sports initiatives, including low-cost community leagues. 
  • Host multi-sport camps to promote sport and recreation sampling: Imagine a Russell Wilson baseball/football camp, or a Sue Bird-Megan Rapinoe basketball/soccer camp. 
  • Support professional development for teachers to incorporate physical activity: Programs like Active Classrooms and Action for Healthy Kids offer great resources for helping students take brain breaks and energy boosters. 
  • Offer intramural sports in middle and high schools: Physical activity declines during the teen years, especially for girls. Find volunteers to offer nontraditional or emerging sports and activities. 
  • Support teacher wellness and physical-activity programs: As role models for kids, teachers who are active can inspire youth. 
  • Keep State of Play Seattle-King County data on file and accessible to the community: Facilitate sharing this resource to help tell the story of recreational and organized play in this region, and use the data to help make decisions that benefit all youth. Evaluate how parks and facilities are used and by whom. 
  • Require apartment and townhome developers to carve out play spaces: Compel developers to build spaces in developments intended for families, especially where access to green space is limited. 
  • Invest in innovative efforts to connect urban youth to nature: Promote strategic partnerships such as the Children & Nature Network and Outdoor Alliance for Kids. 
  • Create youth-centered games and apps that incentivize physical activity: Pokemon Go, developed locally, is an example of integrating video-game play with physical activity. Develop similar apps and mobile games that encourage youth to be active. 
  • Report on the challenges and opportunities in youth sports and recreation: Tell more stories about the almost 80% of the youth population who have ever been involved in organized sports and activity. 
  • Develop ride-share programs for youth, or invest in existing ones: Make these free or subsidized, especially for low-income youth. Prioritize safety and cultural sensitivity. 
  • Donate overstock equipment to a centralized group for distribution: Give last season's gear to schools and let them teach kids nontraditional sports that your business might focus on. 
  • Acknowledge the role of working parents: Give all parents, no matter their employment status, a few hours of paid time per month to help their kid get to practice of otherwise support their physical activity. 
  • Allow vanpool shuttle busses (and drivers) to transport youth after work hours: The use of corporate vans would take thousands of drivers off the road and help families without cars access parks, play fields, and recreation centers.
  • Create a coaching class similar to classes that teach babysitting or CPR: Publicize this to the community and make it free or low cost. Use research coach-training practices and enlist research institutions to conduct training. 
  • Offer youth sport training for parents as a health and wellness class: Teach parents how to help children participate in developmentally appropriate sports and support them in nontraditional physical activities. 
  • Have community health clinics screen swim ability during wellness checks: Clinics would use a standard tool system to assess the swim ability of 5-6 year-olds and identify barriers families face to accessing swim lessons. 
  • Put your child in programs with trained coaches: Ask questions about the training background of your child's coaches. Prioritize fist aid/CPR and concussion training and lean toward programs that have training in positive youth development. 
  • Make time for outdoor free play with your child: Being physically active does not always require money or fancy equipment. Walk with your child or go outside to look at the clouds. Encourage your child to put down their device for just 20 extra minutes a day. 
  • Consider how your school's PTA could support increased physical activity: Create a green schoolyard, or run a floor-hockey club or yoga class before or after school.