Don't Retire Kid: ESPN and The Aspen Institute
Last year, 62% of kids did not play sports, with the average kid “retiring” by age 11. For kids from low-income backgrounds, the story is even worse. Children from household incomes of $100,000 or more are almost twice as likely to play sports than kids in homes under $25,000. Girls in urban and rural communities are dropping out at twice the rate of boys, with only 31% of all girls having played team sports last year.
To help change the trajectory of kids and sports in the United States, ESPN teamed up with the Aspen Institute and 20 sports organizations as part of Project Play 2020 to address the factors that are leading to the youth sports participation decline. One of the top reasons kids are quitting sports is that the pressure from parents and coaches is just too much, and kids aren’t having fun anymore. George Washington University polled kids on what’s fun about sports, and “winning” ranked 48th.
As part of this collective, ESPN launched the Don’t Retire, Kid campaign to create awareness about why kids are dropping out of sports, while driving parents and coaches to resources that can help keep them playing longer.