Project Play is a national initiative of the Aspen Institute.
What does Project Play efforts in King County mean by sport and physical activity?
The Aspen Institute defines sport as “all forms of physical activity which, through organized or casual play, aim to express or improve physical fitness and mental well-being.” Project Play efforts in King County embrace this broad definition and looks to community partners to be expansive in their thinking about how to get kids moving and active in ways that are safe, healthy, fun, and developmentally appropriate.
What are the next steps in bringing Project Play to King County?
Research to produce a State of Play report, similar to those in other regions of the country, is underway. The research team, guided by a community advisory board, is conducting surveys, focus groups, interviews, and program analysis to create an understanding of the assets and barriers for youth physical activity, sport, and outdoor recreation in our region.
The State of Play report will be released in September 2019, and from there, community partners will leverage the results and strategies to build a collective impact plan addressing the gaps in equity and access identified by the report. King County Parks is leading the way in this effort by committing to tie its Youth and Amateur Sports Grants program to the results of the report. If you're interested in learning more about how you or your organization can join the collective impact movement, contact Julie McCleery.
What collaborative ideas are being tried around the country to improve youth access and engagement in sport and physical activity?
In Baltimore, local companies have created a fund, called RePlay, to support the refurbishment of vacant lots into safe, community play spaces. Also in Baltimore, an organization called Parks & People Foundation runs no-cost sports leagues in order to bring more kids to parks. The sports leagues provide environmental education and strive to nurture a connection to the out-of-doors through sport. In Ohio, one department of parks and recreation requires Positive Coaching Alliance training for all its volunteers and has modified its programming to encourage more free play and sport sampling. In New York City, a local foundation called Sports and Arts in schools trains all after school providers in best practices of coaching, including health, safety, and pedagogy, because most after- school providers oversee physical activity and play even if they are teaching art or chess.
Download the Project Play efforts in King County common FAQs and statistics sheet here.