Youth sports updates in your inbox.
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Happy New Year! I am overjoyed about the opportunities for impact in 2023. Last year, Project Play and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, in partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the William Davidson Foundation, awarded more than $1.6 million in grants to deserving youth sports organizations in southeast Michigan. Our partners strived to ensure youth in our region had access to equitable sports programs and recreation facilities. 

Our year concluded with our inaugural coaches round table, which brought together nearly 80 leaders representing 40 organizations in youth sports across the southeast Michigan region. The convening kicked off with a light breakfast and networking followed by powerful workshops led by the California AfterSchool Network and the Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport. We appreciate everyone who attended and contributed to the insightful conversation and community building.

As we plan for the year ahead, our goal is to increase connectivity among our youth sports community and create channels for exchanging shared resources. We are all as strong as our community. Project Play hopes to provide you with the tools and connections you need to continue providing transformative youth sports programming. With that in mind, we have one ask for you. Consider sharing this email with another sports coach or leader that may not be aware of Project Play and our mission. In 2023, we hope to expand our network to reach all possible youth sports leaders to improve the state of play in southeast Michigan.

Northwest Goldberg Cares

Project Play partner Northwest Goldberg Cares recently unveiled their new ice rink at the Curtis Jones Park. The park, which opened in October, proudly hosts the third ice rink in Detroit. We encourage you to make plans to visit before the rink closes on February 28. Click below to learn more!

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Youth Indoor Soccer Camp

Project Play partners Advancing Macomb and LK St. Clair Soccer are teaming up to provide this amazing opportunity for young soccer enthusiasts. Click below to learn more and register today! 

Register Here

The Aspen Institute has announced that the Project Play Summit 2023 will be May 17-18 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Aspen Institute has funds available for attendees engaged with Project Play Southeast Michigan to attend the in-person conference. CLICK HERE to learn more and complete the online interest form before January 31, 2023. 

Project Play has partnered with the Aspen Institute and the Power of Us, to help research and gather data within the youth sports community.

The Power of Us workforce survey is a national survey polling the youth fields workforce. The goal is to collect data and learn more about workers and volunteers dedicated to youth development in the U.S. The deadline to complete the survey is March 31, 2023. Please anticipate dedicating 20 minutes to complete this survey. CLICK HERE to take the survey.

The Aspen Institute requests your help collecting responses for the national State of Play survey. This survey seeks to gain data from youth regarding their sports and recreational habits. We encourage you to share this with kids within your networks. The deadline to complete the survey is February 28, 2023. Please anticipate dedicating 10-15 minutes to complete the survey. CLICK HERE to take the survey.

Help make an impact within our community! Your input is valuable and greatly appreciated.

Advancing Macomb snares grant to help lower the cost of local recreational programs

Nonprofit organization Advancing Macomb has been awarded a $50,000 grant to support its Breaking Barriers to Play initiative.

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Free Press to receive Report for America grant to cover youth sports in Detroit, region

The Detroit Free Press is among dozens of newsrooms across the nation that will receive a grant from Report for America to help fund a reporting position in the newsroom. Learn More

Pickleball is a hit with kids, but interest in team sports drops

The sport with the funny name is popular with grandparents, but kids like to play, too. Pickleball grew an amazing 83 percent from 2019 to 2021, attracting almost a half-million regular players among people ages 6 to 17. Learn More

How kids' sports became a $19B industry

The youth sports industry is estimated to be worth $19 billion, more than the value of the NFL. We talk to the author of a new book looking at the rise of the kids' sports industry, and how it's impacting children and families alike. Learn More

Club soccer puts the sport out of reach for many kids

"Pay to play is more of a problem than ever before," says Tom Farrey, executive director of the Sports & Society Program at The Aspen Institute. "We now have families being charged thousands of dollars for their children to chase a ball on a green field and try and push the ball into the back of a net that cost very little." Learn More

In youth sports, talent helps but money rules

It provided yet another reminder of the gulf between the haves and have-nots in youth sports, in which parents are spending between $30 billion and $40 billion annually on their children’s sports activities, according to a recent report from the Aspen Institute, and rising participation costs have created an economic divide that has diminished opportunities for kids from impoverished and marginalized families.
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Project Play is an initiative of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

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