Sports participation among kids falls to just 38 percent 'because of rising costs, other factors'

Mail Online | 9/4/2017 | Alex Raskin Sports News Editor For
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A remarkable 62 percent of American children have quit playing sports, and now famous athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Wayne Gretzky, and Sloane Stephens are a part of a nationwide effort to identify the problems and increase athletic participation.

In response, the Aspen Institute's Project Play 2020 initiative has started a new awareness campaign titled 'Don't Retire, Kid,' which launched on Sunday and aims to reverse the trend in hopes of promoting physical and emotional health among American children.

Television - Spot - ESPN - Platforms - Boy

A new television spot will air across ESPN platforms featuring a young boy announcing his retirement from all sports during a press conference.

'I said I would play this game as long as I was having fun,' he says to a room of stunned reporters. 'And now, it's time to call it quits.'



The issues include everything from rising costs and increased pressure on young players, to the new tendency for kids to specialize in a single sport rather than engaging in a variety of athletic endeavors throughout the year.

Survey - Percent - Children - Sport

According to the survey, 45 percent of children between six and 12 now play only a single sport.

One problem is they risk burning themselves out, and if they do quit, they don't have any other sport on which to focus.

ESPN - Host - Campaign - Spokesperson - Cari

'Cast the net very wide,' ESPN host and campaign spokesperson Cari told the Aspen Institute. 'Make sure that your kids can enjoy all types of sports, that's why they're not burnt out playing one single activity. It could be soccer, it could be baseball, it could be gymnastics, but make sure that they're involved. There are over 120 different sports that they can partake in.'

Furthermore, playing multiple sports is a good idea because children's interests change more frequently than adults', generally speaking.

Dr - Travis - Dorsch - Utah - State

According to Dr. Travis Dorsch, the Utah State professor who helped design...
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