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"Developing The Healthy Youth Athlete" Conference Draws Top Leaders
December 16, 2013
Please join us at one of the most important recreational sports, play, and physical education conferences of the year: "Developing The Healthy Youth Athlete: The Public Health Challenge and Opportunity", February 11-12, 2014, in Orlando, Florida. NCYS Executive Director Sally Johnson will be a panelist on the topic "What Do We Know About the Health and Safety of Our Players -- Physically, Emotionally, And Developmentally?

The Conference is an unprecedented opportunity to come together as CHANGEMAKERS, and participate in a national conversation that impacts the lives of the children we serve. It is being co-sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine, Disney/ESPN, the National Council of Youth Sports, the National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute and Sports & Society, a program of the Aspen Institute.

The Developing The Healthy Youth Athlete conference will address:

Placing “children and their health at the center” of our programs and practices;
Unleashing the collective energies of youth sports, phys ed, and sports for development community in showing the power of physical activity as a public health investment;
Creating a bridge between research and action to celebrate and share “best practices”;
What we are doing to engage the marginalized child and showing that sports and physical activity are not only for those most athletic, but are fun, friend-building, and healthy activities; and,

The feedback mechanisms and measurement and evaluation processes we need to have in place to communicate the value of our programs and the co-benefits of physical activity to parents and coaches; and policy-makers and decision-makers.

The good news: sports participation rates are increasing.

The bad news: More than one-third of children in the U.S. are overweight or obese; 60% are not meeting recommended physical activity guidelines, and the number of kids suffering from chronic diseases like asthma, heart problems, diabetes, behavior and learning problems, has virtually doubled from 12.8 percent in 1994 to more than 25% today. Brain science tells us that we have a window of opportunity to create healthier generations for the future by investing in children before the age of 10. We need to recognize what that means in growing our participation base and outreach to parents.

These issues are now being discussed as part of global and national health strategies by governments, national and international civil society organizations involved with children’s health, development, education and social protection, and UN agencies. We have a public health grand opportunity to show sports, physical activity and recreational play as THE cross-societal investment opportunity that grows human potential and physical, emotional, mental, and social health.

We hope you will join us as a champion of this process and lend your voice to sharing our strengths and shaping our children’s futures. To register, please visit: