The Whistle Helps Launch “Project Play” Summit at the Aspen Institute

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Summit Was the Official Kick-Off of a Two Year National Conversation to Give Parents and Policy Makers the Tools to Build "Sport for All, Play for Life" Communities

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The Whistle, the first sports network and community dedicated to entertaining, inspiring and equipping the next generation of fans and their families, recently co-sponsored the Aspen Institute’s inaugural Project Play Summit in Aspen, Colorado. The Summit convened leaders across sports, health, business, and other fields to identify strategies that can lower the barriers to children’s access to healthy, positive sports activity in America.

“At The Whistle, we are building a national media platform for youth sports. Project Play was a natural initiative for us to help launch. We’re excited to have helped kick off a national conversation around creating a culture of ‘play for life’ in America,” said John West, The Whistle’s CEO and Founder.

Engaging stakeholders ranging from policy chiefs to parents, Aspen Institute’s Project Play will take a thought leadership role in creating “Sport for All, Play for Life” communities across America. The two-year initiative will explore ways to expand fun, safe participation in youth sports so that kids and communities across the U.S. can benefit from the positive outcomes associated with sports access.

“The Aspen Institute's Project Play asks: How can every child in America play sports and benefit from healthy physical activity?” said Aspen Institute Sports & Society Director Tom Farrey. "We're grateful for The Whistle's sponsorship of the youth panel at our summit where the voices of kids who have access and some who don't helped shape our collective dialogue and understanding of the issues."

At the Aspen summit, The Whistle led a panel — entitled “The Youth Perspective on Youth Sports” — dedicated to providing the youth perspective on youth sports. Participants sought to identify both “barriers to participation” and “opportunities for progress” towards greater youth participation in sports activity.

Discussion in The Whistle’s panel centered on the idea that different age groups of young people will face different barriers and opportunities for participation in sports. Participants identified these across five groups, ranging from toddlers aged 0 to 5 all the way to young adults aged 17 to 24. The conversation also identified ways in which new media and their effect on a new generation of youth should shape the efforts of Project Play — an area of expertise for The Whistle.

To view a graphical representation of the outcomes from The Whistle’s panel: Click here to read more about the entire summit.

Other speakers at the conference included Scott Blackmun, the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and Craig Robinson, head basketball coach at Oregon State University. The summit was capped by an evening town hall — open to the public — featuring Olympic champions Gary Hall Jr., Michelle Kwan, and Nancy Hogshead-Makar, and Paralympians Sarah Reinertsen and Jon Lujon.

About The Whistle:

The Whistle is the first sports network and community that’s dedicated to entertaining, inspiring and equipping the next generation of fans and athletes with the critical life skills that sports provide. The curriculum-driven content focuses on fitness and nutrition, math and science and self-confidence and teamwork, and includes both pro and youth sports distributed across the media platforms where kids are today. Its owners and investors include sports heroes such as Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, and Tim Wakefield, media pioneers including former heads of Nickelodeon and MTV, and league partners like the NFL, PGA Tour and U.S. Soccer. For more information, go to

About The Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program:

The Institute’s Sports & Society Program recently launched the “Aspen Institute’s Project Play,” a two-year initiative that will convene sport, health, business and other leaders in a series of events designed to seek and share ideas about lowering the barriers to children's access to healthy, positive sports activity. The project will ultimately offer a game plan to help stakeholders—from policy chiefs to parents—create “Sport for All, Play for Life” communities.

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Brian Selander
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