The Center for Leadership in Athletics sends out news and updates regarding the King County Play Equity Coalition regularly. If you wish to receive this newsletter, sign up here.  


King County Play Equity Coalition

Originally sent Sept. 24, 2019

Last week, we announced the results of State of Play: Seattle-King County at the Aspen Institute's Project Play Summit. We were thrilled to hear words of support from attendees across sectors, and share key learnings with future communities and leaders working to conduct State of Play analyses in their own communities. Now, we will begin holding meetings with the King County Play Equity Coalition to leverage the momentum from our launch events and push our recommendations forward. 

We also want to share the National Youth Sports Strategy (NYSS), recently released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The National Youth Sports Strategy provides policymakers and decision makers in youth sports programming with strategies to increase awareness of the benefits of participation in sports, increase participation in sports, monitor and evaluate youth sports participation, and more. The strategy is viewed as an important first step to "reorient the U.S. youth sports culture around a shared vision: that one day all youth will have the opportunity, motivation, and access to play sports, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sex, ability, or ZIP code." 

The strategy outlines barriers, opportunities, federal government efforts, global trends, and more related to youth sport and physical activity. Pages 15-18 of the NYSS outline some examples of ways that different stakeholder groups can change the landscape of youth sports. It is great to see these goals continue to move to the top of many policymakers' agendas, and we look forward to being a part of this effort regionally.

As always, thank you for your support! Please reach out to us at if you have any questions or would like to be involved further in the King County Play Equity Coalition. We welcome your expertise!
Originally sent Oct. 11, 2019

Over the past few weeks, the King County Play Equity Coalition has been engaging new members and has begun small pilot projects to increase equitable access to youth physical activity in the region, especially among those youth identified in State of Play: Seattle-King County as lacking adequate opportunity. Namely, State of Play: Seattle-King County found that youth of color and youth who don’t speak English at home are less likely to have ever participated in organized sports than their white and/or English-speaking peers. 

Rave Foundation and Congolese Integration Network

Two organizations involved with the coalition, Seattle Sounders FC’s charitable arm, RAVE Foundation, and the Congolese Integration Network, are working together to make a weekly soccer tournament possible for Congolese immigrant youth in South King County.

The Congolese Integration Network works to create a space and platform for Congolese immigrants and refugees to find community, support, and resources during their transition to the United States. Founder Floribert Mubalama has been an active participant in the State of Play: Seattle-King County Advisory Board and will continue his involvement in this work via the King County Play Equity Coalition.

RAVE Foundation’s mission is to build small fields for free play and invest in programs that use soccer as a vehicle to inspire youth and strengthen communities.  RAVE sees supporting CIN with kits, equipment, and soccer balls as an important step toward play equity and in utilizing the inclusive nature of sports to bind kids and communities.

Yes Initiative: Seattle Children’s Research Institute, UW Center for Leadership in Athletics (UWCLA), Upower, and Highline Public Schools

As a result of relationship-building via the King County Play Equity Coalition, the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, UWCLA, Upower, and Highline Public Schools were awarded a federal grant for the Youth Engagement in Sports: Collaboration to Improve Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition (YES) Initiative. YES is part of the newly-released National Sports Strategy, and supports the Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines, which mirror the CDC recommendation of 1 hour of physical activity each day for youth nationwide. YES also focuses on improving physical activity and nutrition behaviors among minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged youth. Read more here.

The Seattle Children’s Research Institute, UWCLA, Upower, and Highline Public Schools will bring high-quality, developmentally appropriate programming to support physical activity, fitness, sports participation, healthy nutrition, and social-emotional skill development among Highline middle school students.

As the coalition begins to tackle systemic issues in our community related to youth access to physical activity, organized sport, and outdoor recreation, we will continue to pursue these types of projects and build connections between coalition members to strengthen youth-serving programs and take small steps towards our mission.

Contact us: 

Organization Spotlight

Each newsletter we will spotlight an organization involved with the King County Play Equity Coalition. This week, we highlight Baseball Beyond Borders. Baseball Beyond Borders affords families and communities the opportunity to expose their youth to critical skills necessary for life through participation in the sport of baseball. Baseball Beyond Borders focuses on urban youth and the development of their baseball skills, as well as leaders and coaches in the communities they serve. The organization was founded in 2007 by Seattle native Bookie Gates.

Upcoming Related Events

Bridge Conference 
Date: Monday, October 28 to Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Location: Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle's Southport - 1053 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056
Details: This conference brings together nationally renowned speakers, expanded learning professionals, school leaders, funders, researchers, policymakers, trainers/coaches and more to focus on engaging and interactive program practices, educational equity, partnership building, research, resources, and more.

Northwest Nature and Health Symposium
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time: 9:30am-5:30pm
Location: wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House - 4249 Whitman Court, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105
Details: This annual symposium brings together professionals and community leaders in health, conservation, design and planning, and education to learn from each other and explore common goals and collective strategies related to the human health benefits of being in nature.