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Nike Joins Aspen Institute and Clinton Foundation to Reshape Youth Sports

NIKE, Inc. announced a Commitment to Action at the annual Clinton Health Matters Initiative Conference to provide critical resources and partnerships in the U.S. to help reshape the way kids take part in sports and play.

The commitment is aimed at providing America’s kids with early, positive experiences in sports and aligns with Designed to Move, the framework for action that Nike spearheaded with more than 70 expert organizations aimed at reversing the physical inactivity epidemic around the world.

President Clinton opened the conference by joining basketball great Kobe Bryant on stage to discuss some of the barriers to youth participation, which include the need for access to sports for kids of all ability levels and over-specialization in sports at too early of an age.

“All kids are designed to move, and yet more and more are opting out of sports,” said President Clinton. “Research has shown that the healthcare costs associated with this physical inactivity epidemic are going to cripple our economies.”

The conversation also covered the need to improve the quality of youth coaching, and help kids fulfill their passion for sports and play.

“Getting kids to play sports has always been important to me. Give them the opportunity and freedom to play, the way they want to play, and I guarantee they will be athletes for life,” said Bryant.

Gold Medalist Allyson Felix announced the Nike commitment as part of a panel to address ways to reimagine the youth sports structure.  Professional baseball player Matt Kemp, former football standout, Herschel Walker, and Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee joined Felix on the panel.

Part of Nike's commitment is to the Aspen Institute Project Play (www.aspenprojectplay.org), a series of roundtable discussions designed to explore policies and strategies that can be used to get more children physically active through sports, with a focus on the health needs of communities. 

“Nike is partnering with Project Play to help solve for this issue of physical inactivity among America’s kids,” said Felix. “Nike is also mobilizing experts from health, education, transportation and sports who are part of Designed to Move to participate.”

In late 2014, after collecting insights from hundreds of thought leaders, Project Play will deliver a solutions-oriented report that U.S. stakeholders can use to engage more children in sport activity that promotes health and fitness for life.

Nike is also partnering with several organizations to develop a practical tool focused on the implementation of more positive and rewarding experiences for kids in sports and play.

ESPN recorded the entire opening session of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative for a scheduled broadcast to take place Sunday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN2.

ABOUT DESIGNED TO MOVE

In 2012, NIKE spearheaded Designed to Move (DTM) – a call-to-action supported by public, private and civil sector organizations dedicated to ending the epidemic of physical inactivity. To ensure a better future for everyone, we must create early positive experiences for children in sports and physical activity, and integrate physical activity into everyday life. Find out more at www.designedtomove.org.

Read More: Designed To Move