Kansas City,
09:02 AM

Equipping Kansas City’s Youth: State of Play Summit Aims to Expand Access to Quality Sports and Physical Activity

An upcoming event aims to address issues related to sports and physical activity for youth in the Kansas City region. Children’s Mercy Kansas City, in collaboration with the Aspen Institute’s Project Play initiative, invites the community to attend the State of Play Kansas City Summit on April 8, 2024, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center.

Attendees of the Summit can expect engaging panel discussions, collaborative brainstorming sessions and an insightful review of survey results obtained from Kansas City-area youth regarding their sports experiences. Speakers include Kathy Nelson, CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission, and Frank White, Jr., Jackson County Executive and Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer.

Discussions at the Summit will cover a range of topics, including:

  • Celebrating Kansas City: highlighting the city’s rich sports history and ongoing initiatives to ensure equitable access for children.
  • Unpacking Barriers to Access and Equity: addressing common challenges such as transportation, ineffective communication with families, lack of infrastructure for youth with disabilities, limited options for older youth and mental health-related barriers.
  • Data Presentation: presenting insights from Project Play’s youth survey in Kansas City, which focuses on sports preferences, reasons for participation and the impact of physical activity on mental well-being.
  • Youth Spotlights: showcasing the experiences and ideas of young people from the community, emphasizing the importance of centering their voices in discussions about sports access and equity.
  • Ideas to Move Forward: exploring potential solutions and innovative approaches to expanding quality access to sports and physical activities for children across the region.

Kansas City represents the 14th State of Play community engaged by Project Play, an initiative of the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program that is dedicated to developing, mobilizing and sharing knowledge to build healthier communities through sports. Project Play collaborates with local partners to assess the state of play in communities and drive positive change. The research will result in a State of Play report for the region, slated for release later in 2024. State of Play reports have historically catalyzed action among leaders across various sectors, leading to policy developments, innovative partnerships and significant grant funding.

Registration is open for the State of Play Kansas City Summit on April 8, 2024 at as.pn/KCSummit.