February 03, 2015

STATEMENT: KaBOOM! President James Siegal on The Aspen Institute's Project Play report

The Aspen Institute's Project Play report calls for systems change and goes on the record to endorse playability.

The Aspen Institute's Project Play report, an eight-point, cross-sector plan aimed at ensuring every child has access to sports has just been released. The report offers ‘an ambitious plan to reimagine organized youth sports, prioritizing health and inclusion, while recognizing the benefits of unstructured play.'

In support of the plan, KaBOOM! President James Siegal released the following statement:

"One of the major barriers to play and sports is that there are not enough places for kids to play. To ensure play is accessible to all kids, especially the 16 million growing up in poverty in America, cities need to reimagine public spaces and create opportunities for play everywhere. This idea of playability – the extent to which cities make it easier for kids to get balanced and active play – is one solution KaBOOM! is working towards that was recognized in the Aspen Institute's Project Play report as a small-scale effort that can yield big results. To achieve this, everyone from parents to city leaders and changemakers across all sectors must work collectively to make our communities more family-friendly and filled with play to get our kids actively playing more.
'In addition to building playgrounds,' the report states, 'KaBOOM! is helping cities integrate play into routine spaces like sidewalks and bus stops.'
One example of this is the Let's Play Mini Pitch grants we have just launched in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Together, we are awarding deserving communities new mini soccer fields that will transform formerly unplayable urban spaces like parking lots and alleyways to serve the dual purpose of enhancing city offerings and bringing the game of soccer to kids who might otherwise never have had the chance to play.
As the Aspen Institute of Sports & Society Program's incredible work showcases, play is no longer a nice to have for kids, it is a need to have, and the report's actionable solutions remind us that we must continue our efforts to promote and protect our children's right to play. By making safe, fun play a priority in our communities, all kids in America will be able to live the healthy and happy lives they deserve."
playability, james siegal, reports, project play, aspen institute