The following are Project Play materials produced by the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program. Most of the reports capture and aggregate key findings and insights on topics tied to the landscape of youth sports in East Harlem and more broadly through our roundtables, where 300+ leaders have shared and shaped ideas on how to get all children active through sports. In sum, the reports offer a deep dive on the contemporary barriers and opportunities facing stakeholders.


state of play harlem

The State of Play: Harlem was released on April 17th, at Community Board 11's Full Board meeting. More than a year in the making, the report is the first comprehensive analysis of how well youth in East Harlem are being served through sports. The report was guided by a task force of local leaders and youth leadership council and features results from a survey of over 1,500 youth, 40 findings on strengths and gaps in providing access to sport, five major recommendations, one big "Game Changer" opportunity, and 24 sector-specific, crowd-sourced ideas that stakeholders can collectively act on. The State of Play: Harlem also highlights custom maps of the East Harlem study area and an economic and health impact assessment from the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins University.


The first and most important leader in the life of a child is the parent. So we created checklists with 10 questions that caregivers can ask themselves, their child, and sport providers that will help build an athlete for life. Spanish language Parent Checklists are also available.


state of play 2017

The Aspen Institute's State of Play: 2017 report is the second annual snapshot of how well stakeholders are serving children and communities through sports. The report includes the most recent youth sports participation data from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association; exclusive analysis of 40+ key developments from the past year; and grades in each of Project Play’s eight “plays” or areas of shared opportunity. State of Play: 2017 also highlights one innovative organization that’s making a difference in each of our eight strategies, and identifies next steps in 2018 toward building the movement to make sport accessible and affordable to all. The report was released in December 2017.


state of play 2016

Our first annual report on how well stakeholders are serving children and communities through youth sports offers grades, the latest data on participation rates, exclusive insights, and 50+ key developments in 2016 in each of the areas of opportunity identified in our seminal 2015 report Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game. The report also identifies next steps in building the movement to make sport accessible and affordable to all. Report was released in June 2016.


sport for all, play for life: a playbook to get every kid in the game

Over two years, Project Play convened 300+ thought leaders in a series of roundtables, identifying ways to get and keep all children through age 12 active through sports. This 50-page report, released in January 2015, aggregates the eight most promising strategies for the eight sectors that touch the lives of children. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game is a unifying document, collecting in one place the best opportunities for stakeholders—from sport leaders to mayors, parents to policymakers—to work together to grow access to an early, positive sport experience. (Website here; hard copy here)

Physical Literacy In the united states

The Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program introduced physical literacy as a promising concept worth considering at the program’s April 2013 launch summit for Project Play, a multi-stage initiative to provide thought leaders with the tools to build healthy communities through sports, the first phase of which focused on reimagining youth sports in a form that serves the needs of all children.