>>Jennifer Bishop: Good afternoon, welcome
back. We have a special introduction. We’d like Novi Craven to come to the podium and
introduce our next speaker.>>Anovia Craven: It’s my pleasure to introduce
you to Jerome Adams. [applause]>>Anovia Craven: Jerome M. Adams, M.D., MPH
is the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. Doctor Adams, board certified anesthesiologist
— Jerome Adams: — you did that better than
most, wow.>>Anovia Craven: — served as Indiana state
commissioner for 2014 to 2017. As a Surgeon General, Dr. Adams oversees the operation
of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which has approximately 6,700 unified
health officers who serve to promote, protect, and advance the health and safety of our nation.
Dr. Adams’ motto as Surgeon General is, “better health though better partnerships.” As Surgeon
General, he’s committed to maintaining strong relationships with public health communities,
forging new partnerships with non-[unintelligible] partners. Most importantly, he’s a father
of three and spends his time coaching on his off-days. [applause]>>Jerome Adams: [unintelligible] [laughter] [applause]>>Jerome Adams: All right. Good afternoon,
everyone.>>Multiple Speakers: Good afternoon.>>Jerome Adams: I know it’s late. Good afternoon,
everyone.>>Multiple Speakers: Good afternoon.>>Jerome Adams: You know, earlier today,
they had me speak after Ivanka Trump, and today, they’re having me speak after Novi.
I’m starting to feel set up here, you all. [laughter]>>Jerome Adams: I’m starting to feel set
up. But thank you Novi for your kind introduction. And in case you all didn’t recognize, we had
met before. We know each other and there is not a more inspiring individual you will ever
meet. She is really just truly amazing. So, thank you. Please give another round of applause
to Novi. [applause] And thank you to the council members for taking
time out of your very busy schedules to meet here in Washington, D.C. Folks, I don’t think
many people appreciate that these are very busy people in their own rights. They have
day jobs, most of them around the table have four or five different other day jobs, and
they’re here because they are committed to this mission. They know how important it is
that we lift up youth sports. So, thank you Sam, thank you Julie, thank you Rob, thank
you Shauna, thank you Trevor, thank you Jonny, thank you Robert, thank you Ashlee, thank
you Brenda. And thank you to Jennifer and to Kristina, too. They’ve just done a fantastic
job helping lead a tremendous meeting today, so thank you everyone. [applause] And congratulations to all of you on the launch
of the National Youth Sports Strategy. [applause] You know, it really wasn’t planned in advance,
but it couldn’t have been more fitting that Novi introduced me because earlier this year,
fellow council member and co-chair Mariano Rivera and I had the honor of being part of
the U.S. delegation to the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi. And even as a dad, as a youth
coach, and many people don’t know this, but as a brother of someone with an intellectual
difference, my time at the Special Olympics was transformative. I learned what real inclusivity
looks like. And I’ve talked about the fact that my brother has an intellectual difference.
One of the things that I lament is that he didn’t experience inclusivity during his upbringing.
He didn’t have an opportunity to participate in youth sports or be a part of Special Olympics.
He often sat on the sidelines or at home while me and my other brothers were out playing
sports. And that’s something that we need to change. We need to change and it’s people
like Novi who are going to help us change that. I got to see the power of sports at the Special
Olympics to lift up communities, to bring nations together. We were in Abu Dhabi and
there were nations that were literally on T.V. talking about going to war with each
other and their Special Olympic athletes were standing right alongside each other giving
each other high fives and hugs. Sports and the Special Olympics have the ability to empower
people who have been stigmatized and downtrodden. And again, I got to meet thousands of amazing
people like Anovia who weren’t just great people, but — I got to tell you all. They’re
great athletes who could beat the pants off of me on the field or in the arena. I got
to see them up close and I got to see the power lifters and the basketball players and
the soccer athletes and I’m a pretty good athlete myself and I couldn’t hang with them.
They were quite frankly just mind-blowing. I’ve also seen how the youth sports strategy
intersects with and lifts up my priorities as Surgeon General of the United States. We
know that youth sports are an effective and fun way to achieve lifelong health benefits
that will lower healthcare costs; the number two expense for most employers. But in addition
to health benefits, we also know sports can teach teamwork and leadership skills that
are important as the youth transition into the work force. Skills that the employers
out there tell us far too many of our youth don’t have today. And that’s why part of the
Youth Sports Strategy is engaging an array of stakeholders like businesses and economic
development policy makers. Studies have shown further that youth who
participate in sports are more resilient and less likely to experiment with substances.
I told you about one of my brothers. Another one of my brothers, Phillip, is in jail right
now due to crimes he committed to support his substance misuse. I often think if we’d
been able to keep him more involved in youth sports, to have him around positive role models
and positive teammates who directed him towards the good things in life instead of towards
substance misuse. I often think that if we’d been able to do that, perhaps he would have
had a different outcome. Perhaps he wouldn’t be sitting in a prison a little bit away from
me right now while his brother is the Surgeon General of the United States speaking before
you. So, as we address youth vaping, youth marijuana
use, and the opioid epidemic, encouraging youth sports involvement and expansion has
got to be part of that overall plan. And finally, we know youth sports ties directly into my
priority of health and national security. This is a quote from one of the Surgeons General
of the Armed Forces, “Today’s eighth grader is the soldier, seaman or airman of 2025.”
Think about that for a second. Today’s eighth grader, the people we’re trying to lift up
is a soldier, seaman, or airman of 2025. Not that far away. But seven out of 10, 70 percent
of our country’s 18-24 year olds are ineligible for military service right now because they
can’t pass a physical, can’t meet the education requirements, or have a criminal background
record. But we know youth sports involvement leads
to healthier young adults both mentally and physically. It also leads to increased military
recruitment and retention and a safer nation. So, if we want to be safe as a country, if
we want to be safe as a planet, we have to continue to encourage and lift up youth sports.
Now you all have had a long day and you don’t want to hear me go on, so I’ll wrap it up
here. But in closing, I’d like to reiterate my motto that Novi mentioned as Surgeon General,
which is, “better health through better partnerships.” The National Youth Sports Strategy is really
at its core about forging new partnerships and strengthening those partnerships that
already exist in communities. Partnerships with kids and parents, partnerships with teachers
and soldiers, partnerships with policy makers and business makers. And I’m confident with
the great team that we have assembled within HHS and the amazing folks that have stepped
up to be a part of the council leading the charge in communities along with all of you.
This is key: all of you. This isn’t about HHS, it isn’t even about the council. It’s
about all of us and all of you. If we all come together, we will truly be able to achieve
better health through better partnerships that lift up youth sports. Now you’ve all
got the game plan. It’s up to all of us to go forth and execute. Thank you very much. [applause]>>Kristina Harder: Thank you very, very much,
Vice Admiral Adams for joining us today, for sharing your perspective, and also for joining
us at the event this morning. Now we are going to move onto the fun part of the program.
Not that the rest was not fun, but we get to hear from the council members themselves.
These folks have incredible background, incredible insights. But most importantly, they’ve got
servants’ hearts and they are very excited to take the words that are in the strategy
and like the Vice Admiral Adams said, we’re going to put this into action and we’re going
to execute this. So, with that, I want to open this up for
the next hour. We’re going to deliberate. I’m going to give a bunch of questions to
these folks here and I would just say for those of you around the table, just when you
answer a question, just give your name and a little bit of the background. I know folks
around the room probably know you, but it would be good to know what experiences you’re
bringing to the table. So, the first question that I’m going to pitch,
one of the actions that HHS is taking to implement the national youth sports strategy is to reinstate
the science board as a subcommittee of this council. It’s what Admiral Giroir touched
on briefly as with Katrina. The science will provide scientific guidance
as directed by the council members. So, my first question is, “what topic areas do you
think the science board should focus on to help implement this strategy?”>>Brenda Becker: Hi, I’m Brenda Becker. I
worked for Boston Scientific and have been in healthcare for a very long time and very
committed to health and fitness, especially with our youth. One of the things I was thinking
about and had seen a recent article about, so many kids are not engaged for a number
of reasons, but one is they’re sitting behind the Xbox or the internet. And there are some
games out there that apparently get kids hiking and doing a number of activities and I just
don’t know what the science data really is on that. It might be really interesting to
look. Is there a way through the technology and through these games? If it does have any
kind of cause and effect, I’ve heard some, I think the samples have been small, to look
at how do we use technology, these games, to get kids doing the actual activities they’re
seeing on the video?>>>>Robert Goldman: Hi, Dr. Robert Goldman.
I have four medical doctorates and 20 world strength records. I know the both ins from
the medical and from the sports arena. I think one area that is very concerning to me and
has been for quite some time is the nutrition aspect. The companies are supported for bad
foods and they’re punished for good foods. And if you don’t put the right fuel in the
engine, you’re going to have a deficient machine. And I think we are pushing our kids, not only
due to the inactivity, but also due to the programming that we see with they’re being
programmed on YouTube and all the different things they’re watching during their daily
lives that — to be pushed bad foods, bad substances, too many of the wrong types of
fuels in their body. And when you combine inactivity with bad fuel, you end up with
a broken machine and that’s where you have a lot of obese — childhood obesity, childhood
diabetes, all of these different deficiencies. Not only in the U.S., but I see this internationally
where childhood obesity all throughout Asia now and China and so on, aside from the toxic
environment of the bad air, bad water. All of these things is toxic soup now combined
to not only affect their bodies, but also their brains. So, we’re going to see more
of these chronic conditions increasing if we do not change the fuel that’s going in
and their activities, as was just brought up.>>Shauna Rohbock: This is Shauna Rohbock.
I have to echo what Dr. Goldman said. I think there’s just a huge lack of knowledge when
it comes to nutrition. You know, just looking at my own family, you know, my sister ended
up getting these bars because it said “fiber” in it, she thought they were healthy. And
I asked her to pick up a Snickers bar and they had almost the exact same nutrition within
them. So, I think educating them on that is pretty important.>>Julie Teer: Julie Teer with Boys and Girls
Clubs of America. You know, a lot of the data that you know, we talked about today and I
think we’re all familiar with, it’s startling, right? And you think about just 70 percent
of our teens or young adults wouldn’t even qualify for military service. I mean, that
is something I don’t think — at Boys and Girls Clubs, we’ve had a long time partnership
with the military, but when you share that statistic with people, you say, “No, that
can’t be right. What are you talking about?” Right? And I just think there’s so much information.
There’s so much data and if the science board can really help us consolidate, and if there’s
three key points that can really help us sharpen our case, both about the problem but also
the solutions, right? Because that’s the good news here, is that we do know there are solutions
out there that work. But I think that we’ve really got in a world where it’s, you know,
bring your data, right? We’ve really got to consolidate. What are the most compelling
data points, but also what works? Right? And so organizations like ours, the Y, Special
Olympics, many other youth-serving organizations. Schools and other organizations can really
help to solve this problem with you all.>>Trevor Drinkwater: Trevor Drinkwater. I
agree with that point. I think, you know, somebody told me once we all can have an opinion,
but there’s only one set of facts. And I think, unfortunately, there are a lot of set of facts
when it comes to what’s happening with health and wellness right now. So, I think one of
the things a science board could do is help be that convening agent of all this information
to try to have that one set of facts that we can all rely on because it’s hard to refute
facts. When you show facts, people typically move, and move things forward. So, I agree.
I think that’s one of the big roles of science board can take. Samuel Worthington Jr.: Jim Worthington. No
question the facts in this report is going to be essential, but I think the delivery
of those facts is getting it to the parents and the schools. That’s really the key. How
do you get it to filter down to them so they can be aware that there’s a national crisis,
you know, amongst us right now and how do we deal with it and how do you deal with your
own family, kids, and extended family members? So, I think that’s critical. You can have
all the reports you want, but if you don’t delivery it, you’ve got a whole other issue.>>Johnny Damon: Johnny Damon, former baseball
player and father of eight kids. I could tell the difference from my 20-year-olds down to
the three year old. The younger kids are definitely trying to get on the iPads a lot more. I’m
pushing them outside to play. The iPads or any device, it’s, you know, it’s taking a
lot of their time away from playing sports. If you do play a video game, I suggest that
Xbox Kinect. I mean, I did it with my older kids and we got a great workout. We were doing
track and field, we were doing all that good stuff, and I lost out on that stolen base
because I played it so much one night. I was running in place and my body wasn’t moving,
so I got thrown out on second base. So, that videogame was actually very beneficial to
my older kids and — but the younger kids, we need safer places for them to play as well.
But getting outside and playing in multiple sports, but also the parents. And you need
to be there. You need to push them in the right direction.>>Robert Wilkins: Master Sergeant Rob Wilkins
of the United States Air force, retired. I think the country really went through this
— we were debating about chicken sandwiches recently from Chick-Fil-A and Popeye’s. And
that was how people were getting their nutrition information? That’s the kind of stuff we’re
talking about? I think that the information is pretty complex but we have to make it more
simplistic where most people can understand. I was recently in Harlem with Ashlee, I was
talking to some of the kids, and I found that many of them were eating at McDonalds and
Burger King because it costs a dollar to have a hamburger. They don’t have a $1.50 or $2
to have bananas and apples. So, the price of good food is restrictive, but I also think
the schools have to have a part in this where they’re teaching about nutrition and maybe
these kids go back and teach their parents. Because the parents are so under stressed
at work, they’re working hard, but the kids need to be a part of this. Personally, my
own son, he preferred to go to Panera now than McDonald’s. I wanted to go to McDonalds
because that’s how I grew up. But I think the more that we get our kids involved, the
more that we get people who are the people sharing the messages. But to break it down
so everyone can understand it, have a good way of reaching home and making a positive
impact.>>Kristina Harder: Well, I think these are
all really good points and moving on to, you know, we’ve got — say we have a great set
of data across all of these topics. What are we going to do to increase awareness? When
we have the data set, we’ve got a science board together, they’re going to look at a
few topics. How can we be involved in increasing the awareness of these facts, of these benefits
of youth sports, of what the problem is and what the solutions are?>>Ashlee Lundvall: I think I’m the only one
that –>>Trevor Drinkwater: — this is, oh go ahead
–>>Ashlee Lundvall: — thank you, Trevor.
Ashlee Lundvall. I was Miss Wheelchair, USA 2013 and just an outdoor enthusiast with an
apt of recreation. Whether we like technology or not, not going anywhere any time soon,
and so I think if you want to reach kids and young people right now, whether we like it
or not, we have to utilize social media. It’s where they’re at, it’s what they’re checking,
unfortunately, it’s kind of the only way they know how to communicate right now. And so,
whether you like it or not, like I said it’s not going anywhere and it’s a great way to
reach them. There’s a lot of interactive tools as well as accessibility tools that you could
reach people in that way and so I think that’s something that we could all utilize and it’s
a platform that everyone’s able to have access to.>>Kristina Harder: And if we’re reaching
kids on social media, how are we encouraging them to get from behind the screen to the
great outdoors?>>Trevor Drinkwater: Yeah, so I think the
number is that our kids see 4,000 media impressions a day. So, it’s pretty incredible. I think
the challenge here is to make sure those media impressions inspire them to do the right thing,
not the wrong thing. There are a lot of big companies out there that spend a lot of money
trying to get us to buy their products and are more and more focused on corporate responsibility
initiatives because they know now that the consumers reward companies that are doing
better things for them. So, I think a big area for us to focus on
is really how do we leverage these big companies and their desire to communicate a more positive
message towards nutrition fitness, mental wellness, physical health, mental health,
to influence the — as many of those impressions that our kids are seeing today and also again
their parents. There’s also on the board itself an incredible amount of social media followings,
you know? Like to follow Johnny for example, so and people who have make, you know, that
have this influence should use it positively to try to drive people to do the right thing.
So, I think there’s a big opportunity for us as the council and also through our networks
to be able to communicate positively what we’re trying to accomplish.>>Johnny Damon: I also think competition.
Competition within your schools, your cities. Like who’s going to get outside and compete
more? Give them a prize, whether it’s — I’m from Orlando, so guess what? Whatever school
wins this competition, you all go to Sea World today, or Disney, or give incentives for these
kids to — because I mean Disney tickets are $150 now for these kids. But we need to reach
out to these big corporations that actually have the money to — because at the end of
the day, it’s money. When I played baseball growing up, it cost $20. Now, I mean it’s
upwards to $700 to $1500 to sign up for baseball, and that’s pretty ridiculous. And I think
that’s what’s going on with most sports. I guess we were fortunate. I mean, for me to
make $20 back in the day, it’s cutting some grass and getting outdoors again. But it all
revolves around money, but I like the competition incentives for these kids. Whether it’s on
a local, state, national competition, I think it would be great to develop some kind of
an app to have these kids compete and do the best that they can. Samuel Worthington Jr.: I think we discussed
this last year as well in September. Finding people that relate to those age groups is
key. I was — had the fortunate to be with Willie Mays, who’s 88 years old, a couple
weeks ago and spent three hours in the afternoon. He’s my childhood hero. Willie Mays today
could not relate to kids that are 13 or 12, 14. Johnny Damon could. But people like him
and people that entertainers and people like that that would get the message out, that
you know, being healthy, being active, is cool, fun, a great thing to do. I own a pretty
large health club facility in Philadelphia, outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And
believe it or not, Zumba’s what attracts all the young girls. 13, 14, 15, 16, they won’t
play youth sport, but they’ll come in and keep active through that and then in hopes,
you might get them active through youth sports. Let’s be honest, at the end of the day whether
it’s sports or just participating, moving is what we’re all about. So, I think you just
have to find those role models. I can’t tell you who they are. I happen to be 63 years
old, but the people that those kids look up to, I think, are the people we need to get
to solicit that help.>>Shauna Rohbock: Shauna. Like Johnny said,
I think you know, sports these days they are fairly expensive and I think that’s a lot
of parents out there that don’t want to put that money towards their child and I think
you know, they don’t realize the benefits that go along with that. And I think also
educating those parents might get them out there to, you know, push their child to get
out on the field and put that money towards them. So, I think targeting the parents in
those media outlets and other ways could work as well.>>Robert Wilkins: Another thing I would think
about is encouraging the parents to be the example for their children. When we’re looking
at social media influencers or others, I think most children, they may look at the person
who lives in their household as their prime role model as the person they want to emulate
the most. So, if you’re a parent, maybe you don’t have to go to the gym, but you walk
around the block, you throw the ball and you start building on that foundation. Now you
start going to the gym and you lift weights, but the child’s number one role model should
be their parent, in my opinion. And that — in our house, we try to make sure that we’re
telling our child to exercise but he sees his mom and dad also exercising. So, it’s
one thing to say “do it” but the other thing is to participate in that same activity or
many activities.>>Kristen Harder: I know we’ve talked about
how everyone has a role to play. Parents, coaches, youth, the government, you all in
your industries; respective industries. It’s really a cultural problem and a cultural shift
of changing behavior and targeting different audiences. If you put on the hats from your
different industries, what kind of audiences do you think you can be targeting to help
increase awareness?>>Brenda Becker: So, I’ll jump in here. I’ve
been giving this some thought and being in corporate America, I think with corporate
sustainability and responsibility that is really starting to take form in this country,
this would be a good one to put in front of CEOs. Whether it be through the business roundtable,
through some of the other CEO type groups to say this is a crisis and corporate America
needs to be a part of this. And I think we need to start educating them. I’m going to
take on some of that myself. How can they be involved, how can they help support this,
fund this, open up their campuses, they all have gyms. How can we get them more involved?>>Robert Goldman: A lot of us when we were
growing up, the President’s Council was it. I mean, having the little badge, that’s — I
mean, wow, and, you know, we see the badges again. And I think that there are a lot of
great sports festivals that we need to get the council visual appearance at again. Some
of which are double the size of the Olympics in terms of competing athletes. I’m involved
in a number of them, and a number of the other committee members are as well, and I think
that it would be really great to almost rebirth the Sports Council because we all knew the
President’s Council when we were growing up. All of us, we grew up with it. It was like
from age 12 we wanted that little badge and we’d be doing our sit-ups and push-ups until
the cows — that’s probably why I did a world record, I just couldn’t stop. And I think
we need to get that exposure to this next generation at the actual sports festivals
where these kids are going, where there’re 200,000 people or 100,000 people showing up.
And you have 22,000 athletes competing, not just showing up, actually in competition.
I think these are the things that we need to almost rebirth the Sports Council again
because many of this generation have forgotten about it; they don’t know it like we did.
It was part of our lives growing up and we don’t have physical education in the schools
as a requirement, so it’s a different world.>>Brenda Becker: Can we take the rope climb
off that president’s badge? I could never do that.>>Kristen Harder: And just for the record,
can you tell everyone what the record is of the sit-ups?>>Robert Goldman: Oh god, that was 13 and
a half thousand back then. But straight leg, the old way. It was more painful.>>Robert Wilkins: I think corporate America
is going to get behind this because I recently saw a statistic where it said 94% of female
CEOs have a sport background and 75% of all CEOs have a sport background and that’s where
many of them learned lessons about teamwork. That’s where many of them had friends of diverse
backgrounds, that’s where they learned about dedication, and pushing through hardships
and pain. So, I think corporate America, once we engage in the proper way, I think they’re
going to be on board because they’re all familiar with sports and the importance sports has
played in their lives.>>Brenda Becker: The buzzword I was looking
for is corporate social responsibility, the CSR. Which, so many companies are engaging
in would be right down that alley, so I agree with you.>>Johnny Damon: It was pretty amazing seeing
the Washington Nationals place today. What the youth baseball, I’ve never seen that and
I’ve played on seven different teams. And no one thought about putting a — yeah — no
team thought about doing it. And they’re the people who are going to engage the community
to get kids excited. Hopefully, every team one day decides to do that, not just baseball,
but the soccer teams and the football teams, even colleges to uplift certain areas. And
I mean, I could be stepping out of bounds a little bit. But we talk about paying college
players. I mean, this is a good way for them to make a little bit of extra money. To go
to their local high schools and middle schools to talk to these kids about getting good grades.
I mean, you have to have good grades to get a scholarship. I mean, there is free college
for everyone. And even if you’re not a great athlete, there’s many different avenues you
can take. You can find a job taking tours around the stadium. You can become an agent.
You can become a GM. I mean, there’s so many different avenues except being very good in
sports. But you have to find your love and that’s what we’re trying to get kids out there
to do is participate and you’ll find your love sometime. Samuel Worthington Jr.: I also represent the
global health club industry, IHRSA, the largest trade association. And in the U.S. alone,
there’s tens of thousands of health clubs and I think they’ve been slow to the party
in the respect that they’ve always tried to market to adults. And they’re now starting
to change the pendulum, realizing that youth programming, getting kids in early, providing
activities in their club, because they’re going to be the customers of the future. And
what you won’t get them when they’re 40 years old typically when they haven’t worked out
for 30 years. But if you could get them to create healthy lifestyle activities, they’ll
stay with it. And so, in our industry, we are trying to do that. And more and more clubs
are providing those opportunities for kids. So, I see that as a positive for — to change
that. Ironically, the adult penetration rate in health club participation with all the
new clubs like Planet Fitness and so on and so forth, Orange Theory, has remained the
same for the last five years. So, we’re hoping that this new change in the pendulum will
bring more participation not only with kids but adults.>>Kristina Harder: That was a very good segue
into the public-private partnerships. So, a dual question here, how might you utilize
public-private partnerships and who are you working with that may be interested in working
with the counsel to implement this strategy? Samuel Worthington Jr.: Well, I just mentioned
IHRSA. So, again, it’s the largest global trade association in the world — health club
trade association in the world. Domestically, we started working on this last year with
the Council. Somewhere along the line, things kind of slowed up. But I’d like to see us
reengage that. I know that we — I spoke at the U.N. like eight months ago about inclusivity
and fitness. We should be talking about opening our doors to youth, whether it be seventh
grade or eighth grade, providing them an opportunity, whether it’s a month, a week, two months,
to come and use our clubs free. Come up with a program where we introduce kids to fitness.
Those kids that are fit typically play sports or stay in sports. They become part of a team,
a tribe of people that workout together. All the benefits you can think of. So, I think
if we started out with the 40,000 health clubs that are in the United States, we would have
a good step up to provide something that would be pretty unique. And to give credit where
credit is due, the YMCA actually has a program where all seventh graders get memberships.
So, they’re doing great things. We need the private sector to step up and do their best.>>Ashlee Lundvall: As I travel and talk to
people about athletics and adaptive sports and things like that, one of the huge kind
of barriers that people with disabilities face sometimes is just the adaptive equipment.
And a lot of times, you know, insurance companies don’t consider that a necessity and so it’s
not covered. And so, I would love to be able to work with insurance companies and get them
to understand, you know, if you’ll help us cover this adaptive equipment, it’s going
to make people healthier. It’s going to give them those opportunities. Unfortunately, the
funding is not always there. And I think a lot of times especially, maybe smaller schools
like that can get intimidated by that extra cost or to think that they have to have this
entire program. And it’s like, no, sometimes people just need the equipment and then they’re
going to get out there and be inclusive and play with everyone else. And so, I know it’s
a tall order. But I think that that’s definitely an industry that needs to be worked with and
kind of coached through the idea that we are at the end of the day going to make everyone
healthier if they have all that access. And so, I think it’s something that definitely
needs to be addressed.>>Brenda Becker: That just prompted me to
think about, you know, First Tee. A lot of clubs will just, you know, donate to First
Tee. You know, my club is bring in your golf clubs you’re not using and whatever. And how
do we do that with all sports? And maybe it’s happening, and I don’t know about it. But
I just was doing the purge in my garage after my kids have moved out and there’s basketballs
and all this stuff. And I didn’t know what to do with them. I gave them to Goodwill.
But couldn’t they have gone to a program? So, we’ve got to start thinking about how
do we — like you were just saying with baseball with that facility. But how do you get the
baseball teams to reach out to the communities and say, “Bring us your baseball bats. Bring
us your balls. And we’re going to distribute them to those in need,” for the reasons, Ashlee,
you were just talking about too?>>Johnny Damon: Yeah, there’s definitely
some wealthier areas. And they always seem to buy new baseball equipment while their
old equipment is still very good. And I grew up in South Orange, Orlando and we couldn’t
afford these bats. So, maybe the higher up clubs can start donating all their equipment.
But we do have to find a way to get it to the right people. And you don’t want to give
a bat to someone who is going to use it for the wrong reasons or what not. So, it’s really
difficult, I know.>>Trevor Drinkwater: On the public side of
it, public-private side of it, I think there’s a lot of opportunity to figure out ways to
incentivize groups to work together. One of the festivals that I run is focused on wellness.
And we have over 100 sponsors that are big major CPG companies that — consumer products
companies, that have over 700,000 employees, sell $300 billion worth of products here in
the U.S., and market those products to, you know, millions of consumers. And I think there’s
a lot of power in getting in really — partnering with these organizations that want to have
a healthier workforce and to lower their healthcare cost and also to make a happier, healthier
workforce that services the customers that they all service. So, I think there’s a tremendous
opportunity to see if there’s a way to work with these companies in a more direct fashion.
I think a lot of these companies try to do it on their own, which is good. A lot of times
they don’t get credit for the work that they’re doing in terms of the work and policies they’re
putting in place for their employees or the things that they’re doing to try to incent
their customers to do more things on the healthy side, whether that’s eating better or getting
out and being more active. So, I think there’s a bit opportunity there to try to collaborate
with some of these big companies and figure out ways to build those incentives. Samuel Worthington Jr.: Well, and to Trevor’s
point, what is amazing for every dollar spent in preventative, there’s a three to four dollar
payment of the back end. And the fact that we haven’t pounded that through to corporations
to make them understand that that’s a tremendous value for — I mean, if I can invest a dollar
and get three back, I’m doing that all day long. So, you know, it’s again educating,
getting in these companies, working with — for that matter, incentivizing exercise. There’s
state and federal legislation out there now that could help to defray some of the cost
and some of the things that have to do with youth sports and sports leagues and things
like that. So, we need to look at all the different things that makes sports more affordable.
I mean, one of the things in the packet here is that cost is prohibitive. If you have three
kids and, you know, one’s on a travel team and it’s $300 a month, guess who suffers?
The two kids that aren’t as “good”. I mean, that’s not only unfair. That’s just sad. And
to be able to have to make that choice is sad. But when people are, you know, limited
income or, you know, middle class family making x amount of dollars a year, they’re faced
with those choices. I have a sports training facility that we have, you know, thousands
of kids come to every year. A third of them I scholarship because I can. But most businesses
can’t so those kids are turned away. I let them come for free. So, I mean, it’s a shame
but there’s choices being made between what kid is going to play what in what family.
And that shouldn’t happen.>>Kristina Harder: I completely agree with
you. Those are very good points. Another very important part of this piece is volunteerism.
Where are we getting people maybe who have a background in the military or who are older
residents? How are we getting them involved and how are we finding volunteers? How are
we incentivizing them to be mentors to kids? How are we mobilizing this untapped resource?>>Brenda Becker: So, when I was coaching
and I signed up to coach, it was a little daunting. I played basketball but I didn’t
know how to coach basketball and different levels of kids. So, one of the things I had
wanted the school to do was build a model program so that a coach could go in and pull
out the fourth grade and say, “This is what I’m supposed to teach them.” So, that you’re
building a program and you feel less intimidated to go in there and coach. Because it doesn’t
come naturally to everybody. They might not have played the sport, but they want to be
helpful. So, I think if we build some programs and examples that schools could adopt and
get it out to them and it — because there’s a lot of parent teach associations. And our
school you had to have 40 hours of volunteering as a parent or you had to pay x amount of
dollars. So, there was an incentive. But people didn’t always sign up to do the coaching type
jobs. So, I think that would be really important. And we just got to get the message out in
communities, especially with our aging population. I could probably do it, but I don’t even know
— you don’t know where to go necessarily and who needs it. And so, we’ve got to figure
out a way that communities reach out, especially I think to the aging population that are finding
more time on their hands that could do it. But I don’t have an answer on how you go about
that. Others in the room better than me might be able to figure that out.>>Robert Wilkins: Well, I’m not exactly sure
how to find them. I do know the impact of coaches. So, many times you speak to children
and you say, “Why did you quit your sport?” and it’s a coach. “The coach was not good.”
“The coach was hollering at me.” “The coach was mean.” Recently, I read a report about
people — coaches have made impacts on people that they remember 50, 60 years later. I was
recently at the Pentagon talking to some military leaders. And they were saying that the military
is now speaking to coaches because the coaches are having more of an impact than some of
the teachers and the parents. So, the coaches play a dramatic and positive impact or they
can also play a negative impact. So, teaching, giving instruction, finding ways to educate
the folks. Because many coaches are parents. They coach because their kids are involved,
but it doesn’t often mean that they’re the best qualified. They just have compassion
or passion for their children and other children. So, education, finding the right qualified
folks, and letting the coaches know that you’re going to make an impact on this child that
can last 50 years plus. So, it’s important that you do the right thing.>>Brenda Becker: You know, just to add on
to what you just said, what I have done is I called George Mason University close by
and got one of the coaches to come over and talk to the parents that were all volunteering
to talk about coaching. So, that’s another thing we could do is start partnering with
college coaches and high school coaches that are, you know, paid and do it for a living.
Some of those guys aren’t very good either. But, find the good ones and start using them.
And maybe even do a video that you can send out to schools and say, “Here’s a great coaching.”>>Johnny Damon: Sometimes, when the coaches
are trying to teach these kids, I know the parents have to get involved. But the parents
also create the, “My son’s better. He should be hitting fourth. He should be pitching.
He should be doing all that.” So, you do run into those issues sometimes. But as a parent,
you need to also understand that these coaches are there trying to help out as much as possible.
And calm down sometimes. [laughs]>>Kristina Harder: If we were able to snap
our fingers and change the culture and maybe the roles that both coaches and parents play,
if we’re trying to create a space where kids aren’t playing just to compete but they’re
playing to learn, to build character, to do better in school, all these other benefits
we’ve been talking about, what in your minds would be the ideal role of the coach and the
ideal role of the parent if we could swipe it and start from scratch? Samuel Worthington Jr.: You’d never let a
coach coach his own kid. I mean, it’s unbearable at times. And trust me, I used to coach too
and I found myself walking that fine line. I mean, you want your kid to do well. But
on the flip side, sometimes you feel like you’re maybe doing it at an expense. And let’s
be honest with you, you know, if there’s 15 kids on a team, there’s probably one or two
of the best and the other ones are — you go down from there. So, we’ve got to invert
the pyramid and start worrying about the kids that are, you know, not as quite as — I hate
to use the word good — but not as accomplished and work backwards. But when you have parents
that are just there to promote their kids — and I have no idea how you do that other
than just say maybe they can’t coach their own. You could — but that probably wouldn’t
work either. So, I think that’s the biggest thing as Johnny said. I see that. Again, we
have that even in — we do sports training for kids, get them, you know, through plyometrics
and things like that. Literally, there will be parents — we had to ban the parents from
watching their kids workout because they were saying they weren’t working hard. Give more
effort. This and that. They were just there training for an hour trying to become better
athletes. So, it goes even to that extent. It’s really insane at times.>>Brenda Becker: You know, many organizations
have code of conduct and I think schools and organizations are starting to implement code
of conducts because of parents being so unbearable. You almost want to ban them, but they want
to come watch their kids. Hand them the whistle themselves. “You take over if you think you
can do it so well.” But, I think maybe a code of conduct that maybe the Council can put
together on what is appropriate sports behavior. I’m sure there’s models out there all over
the place. And start sending them out and putting them on the social media channels
and things we’ve talked about so others say, “Oh, that’s a good idea. I’ll do it at my
school or my organization.”>>Johnny Damon: Personally, for me, when
all this stuff is going to start in a couple years, I’m going to coach, but I’m going to
make sure all the parents volunteer, get out there and kick the ball with your kid. Come
coach with me for a game. If you’re going to yell at me, why don’t you make the lineup
one day. And I plan to let every kid play every position and hit everywhere in the lineup.
And don’t necessarily play the best kid all the time. But that’s what I’m planning on
doing. To let everyone across America know that philosophy, I think it’s going to be
tough. But my personal — I’m personally going to get all the parents involved. And don’t
yell at me. Samuel Worthington Jr.: You know, the key
or the problem is that — and I think this might be an accurate statistic I was told
but correct me if I’m wrong — that 70 percent of kids at the age of 13 start to drop off
of youth sports. So, that’s when it starts to get real competitive. So, what can you
do — I’m throwing this out there. What can you do — once you get to the junior high,
high school level, where it’s about making a team, what can you do to allow those kids
to continue to participate? Because all of a sudden, they don’t play or they don’t make
the team. That’s where the big drop off is. And I think that’s something we need to look
at as a counsel to figure out, well what the heck can you do? And now even in schools they
make you pay to play. So, I mean, you know, so there’s not money in the budget to have
these kids play whether it be intramurals or a second JV team or something like that.
So, I think that’s a real problem in the schools that once they get to that age, they just
stop.>>Ashlee Lundvall: I know our focus is sports.
And so obviously I don’t want to take away from that. But we also have to understand
that not every kid is going to want to play sports. And so, it’s like a — if we have
kids that are dropping off like Jim said, at the age of 13, it’s like, okay well in
some cases, yes, they need the support to get back in. But then some kids just don’t
want to play sports. So, maybe let’s give them another alternative to still stay active
but doesn’t necessarily have to be sports. And like I said, I know that’s the priority
of this Council. I don’t want to downgrade that at all. But, you know, there’s so much
diversity out there and so many people have different interests and they’re able to stay
active and healthy. Maybe it’s not on a sports team. Maybe there’s another option for that
kid too. And so, I think we have to be careful making it an all or nothing statement. Like,
you’re going to play sports on this team, or you have no physical activity at all. So,
maybe coming up with some ideas for people instead of just cutting those kids loose and
saying, “Well, if you’re not going to play sports, that’s kind of it for you.” Maybe
give them some other ideas to stay active. Maybe give them some ideas of something they
can do independently on their own. You know, I’m fortunate. We live in Wyoming. And so,
you just go outside and walk around and it’s miles to get everywhere. And so, it keeps
you active. But at the same time, you know, giving kids ideas of ways to stay active if
they don’t necessarily make the team or if they need another option like that, I think
would be a good idea as well. Samuel Worthington Jr.: Do we have the ability
to expand the role of the President’s Council to include the kids that aren’t sports interested
to keep them active? Or is that just the focus?>>Kristina Harder: Absolutely. I know the
youth sports strategy touches mainly on sports participation. But the bottom line is for
the long-term health benefits of these kids. And how are we doing that in nutrition? How
are we doing it in sports? But mainly, how are we making kids active? Samuel Worthington Jr.: Okay.>>Kristina Harder: Absolutely. I wanted to
mention if anyone is on the phone that wants to jump in or has any thoughts, please feel
free. All right. So, the next question I have for you guys is, what are ways maybe beyond
what we’ve discussed here, just thinking about the implementation of the youth sports strategy,
what is in your field, in your area of expertise, kind of the poignant problem that you see?
And what is the proposed solution? Robert Wilkins: One of the problems that I
see is that the coaches, the parents, and the children often don’t have the same goals.
So, the Aspen Institute did a study and the number one attribute the kids want from sports
is to have fun. The number 48 for the coaches is to have fun. The number one attribute the
coaches want is to win. The parents fall in between. So, what we do for our son’s football
team is the parents and the coaches and the kids all have one meeting in the beginning
of the season. And we kind of talk about what the goals are of this team. And the first
goal is to have fun, to become unified as a family, and to learn different attributes
of sports. Then, the parents and the coaches meet weekly on Thursday because after a Saturday
football game, the coaches have heard some parents screaming things that they shouldn’t
be screaming during the game. So, we try to clean that up. But I think constant communication
is the key. The coaches, the kids, and the parents all have a role in this. They all
might not have the same goal. But the bottom line is we want these kids of have a great
experience because sports means so much to them and means a lot to the parents who often
have to get off of work early. They’re sacrificing so much of their resources. And no one wants
to have a bad time. So, having constant communication and being engaged with the team is really,
really important to have a good experience for the families, for the coaches, but more
importantly, for that athlete.>>Shauna Rohbock: I think we’ve already kind
of said it. It’s the quality of coaches. I know I’ve had a bunch of parents ask, “How
can I get involved?” But at the same time, they’re intimidated by stepping in and trying
to coach. I know when I started coaching from an athlete — transitioning from an athlete
to a coach, it took me a couple years to try and like you said — you know, you’ve played
basketball, but it was hard to coach it. So, I think some type of mentorship program that
you put together to attach to quality coaches within the area. Or like Brenda had said,
at least some type of pamphlet or something to teach them kind of what we’re trying to
get out there for the kids and you know, obviously about the sport. So, but I think the quality
of coaches is a problem.>>Brenda Becker: One of the things I’ve heard
a lot today and we’ve talked about in the past is cost being a problem. And we’ve talked
about a number of things today. You brought up the facilities and teams getting involved.
But, you know, we have HSA’s that a lot of people have now. And we only use it for, you
know, for doctor bills and that. It would be great if we could find a way — I think
there’s some initiatives out there now being considered because that has to be fixed by
Congress under the tax laws. But to use that for sports, fitness, activities. It doesn’t
even have to be a sport. But if they could use those pre-tax dollars to do that, I think
it would be extremely helpful to most families who do have that and could use it. Samuel Worthington Jr.: Along with what Brenda
was talking about, and again, I was just getting up to speed. Norway somehow gets eight out
of 10 kids participating in sports. Now, they fund it through gaming and some other things.
But they found a way. And you know, which is amazing to me. I could see where maybe
they would get six out of 10 or five out of 10. But eight out of 10 kids in Norway will
play a sport because somehow it’s funded through those initiatives. And money is an issue.
I mean, there’s an example. So, maybe that’s a model we need to look at just to get some
ideas. I’m not saying we’re going to adopt that for any. But it seems like that is making
a huge difference.>>Kristina Harder: And I know we’ve talked
about coaches a lot. We’ve talked about parents. We’ve talked about kids. Are there any other
groups that we can really target here?>>Robert Goldman: Why not target Congress
and the Senate. Get them to kick a lot more money into this. That would be nice.>>Brenda Becker: Make it permanent with an
endowment. Samuel Worthington Jr.: Well, it is interesting.
In my city, Philadelphia, they now tax soda. And it’s been a big controversial thing. So,
we’re taxing soda. You would think they could turn around and use that money to utilize
it for healthy lifestyle activities, right. Give it back. Put it into the parks, the fields,
and things like that. I have no idea what they do with the money. Probably just trying
to balance their budget. But at the end of the day, I mean, again, if we’re going to
try to discourage unhealthy activities, why don’t we encourage healthy activities? And
honestly, I mean, the way things are going, you can’t really get a pill and get your way
out of this healthcare crisis. So, we have to find a way to get people active. It’s,
you know, it’s alarming that 70 percent of the kids cannot serve in the military. Now,
can you imagine 40 years from now when they’re adults the cost to maintain them and keep
them healthy? I mean, it’s unbelievable. It would be 90 percent of the people? I mean,
if it’s that bad now, what you — Johnny, what you said about your little kid versus
your 20-year-old, that’s alarming. It’s only getting worse. So, we got to find a way to
put a halt to this and find a way to get the people moving, just moving.>>Robert Goldman: Jim and Stephanie, right,
when I lectured in China on a number of occasions, you know, because their cities have become
toxic due to so much pollution and the way that they’re getting rid of waste, no country
in the world can afford to be a nation of nursing homes. You just cannot afford it.
You cannot afford to maintain the chronic diseases of aging, especially since when people
have chronic diseases, they spend their entire fortunes that they’ve worked their whole life
in the last year or two years of life. So, instead of a gradual, staying at your peak
your whole life and then dropping off, they have this gradual decline and so they spend
all of that money. And so, we as a country definitely cannot afford to be a nation of
nursing homes and of people who are chronically ill. You can’t — no one can afford it. So,
if we don’t retrain the brains and minds and bodies of these young people, it’s an unsustainable
situation in terms of healthcare because it’s already really bad.>>Kristina Harder: So, I want to leave us
with two more questions. One is we’ve talked about the different ways that you guys in
your other roles can help to increase sports participation. We know that this is a federal
strategy. And this is the first step and the federal government can only do so much. But,
if we could just maybe list a couple of ways of what HHS can do to be supportive in its
federal position, as you all as special government employees in the implementation of this strategy.>>Robert Wilkins: I think getting teachers
involved. In our local — I live in Loudoun County, Virginia. And I spoke to some physical
fitness teachers and some English teachers recently because I thought if I get this program
where I have kids working out, how about I try to combine it to where they’re writing
about why they like exercise, why they like basketball, why they like football. So, the
two teachers that I spoke to loved the idea because now it’s going to give this child
besides the physical fitness part, it’s going to give them the confidence that they’re writing
well, that they’re speaking well. And so, what we’re going to do is we’re going to have
an event at a local gym. And we’re going to have them come in and they’re going to perform
push-ups and jumping jacks and sit-ups. And then two or three of them are going to pick
out why they liked to exercise, what exercise means to them, what football has brought to
them. And they’re going to get graded for this. So, I think it’s giving them the benefits
of communication. It’s giving them the ability to think on their feet. It’s giving them some
health benefits. But I’m trying to find different ways to engage them in exercise. And so far,
it seems to be — at least there’s lots of interest. We’ll see how successful it will
be.>>Brenda Becker: So, there’s been a lot discussed.
This is a — those who haven’t read it yet, it’s a great — it covers everything. But
we can’t do everything. And you can’t. You have a limited team with a lot of other priorities
here in the federal government, having worked before, I know. I would recommend we with
the team at HHS sort through what are the first three things that we can really focus
on in the first six months of this strategy. Because if you try to do it all, we’ll accomplish
nothing. So, that would be my recommendation that your team at HHS is so qualified and
has done so much of this to come back to us and say, “Here’s what we’re recommending that
we focus on, and how can we be helpful and keep us engaged because we’re all motivated
and ready to go. But we — we can’t all just be out there going every which way. Samuel Worthington Jr.: I think [inaudible]
partnerships, these public-private partnerships would be a good way to do it. Again, I go
back to my industry where there’s 40,000 health clubs in America. I mean, if you could get
a quarter of them to buy into, you know, providing something there would be a big thing and then
there’re all the other partnerships you can do. And also thinking, while here, I guess
in a little while, but the National Fitness Foundation and the work that they’re going
to do, I think, is going to be key to providing opportunities for, you know, low cost or low
income communities and places that there are rural that don’t get them the funding they
need to provide these programs. So, and we saw that today down at the ice hockey rink
and the ball fields, I mean, they’re just model programs. So, the more we make awareness
and get people to buy into that stuff, I think we can make a bigger impact quicker.>>Kristina Harder: Now we only have a few
more minutes, but I — I know we’ve talked about a lot of really good things. We’ve put
a lot on the table, some of them problems, some of them solutions, some of them ideas.
But I want to finish with whoever has one with a little bright spot, a little spot of
hope, either an inspirational story of an interaction you’ve had with some of the folks
who are already doing this, a program, like the ones we saw earlier today, or maybe a
positive statistic, but just a little bright spot of hope for the audience here from your
personal experiences.>>Ashlee Lundvall: These are the fun ones.
So, I’ll go. When I became a mom nine years ago, I never, in a million years, dreamed
about taking my daughter to a playground for the first time and her having a blast, but
me not being able to participate with her, because I was chasing her all over the place
in my wheelchair in gravel and sawdust and all these other things that we’re supposed
to be accessible. And I realized right off the bat that starting our kids at such a young
age, keeping them active is so vitally important, but that I couldn’t participate with her.
And I thought, well if I as a parent can’t do this, there’s kids out there with physical
disabilities that aren’t able to go to a playground of all things and start that journey of being
active. And so, a couple of us got together in my
small little town in Wyoming and we said, you know what, we’re going to bring an all-inclusive
playground to Wyoming. And it took about four years for us to raise all the money, but it
was really fascinating to me when you got out in front of people, whether they were
parents or grandparents, and everyone understood, guess what, we’re all headed toward this aging
population. One day you might want to be on a playground and play with your grandkids
and you’re not going to be able to do it. And so, getting personal with people, it was
really fascinating to reach out to them in that way. And it doesn’t seem like, you know,
it happened very quickly. Like I said, it took about four years, but
two years ago we were able to open Wyoming’s first all-inclusive playground. And a lot
of people didn’t even know what that meant and so it was really cool to educate people.
And now we’ve got another one that popped up in Wyoming and, then I know, there’s a
third one coming in. So, it’s fascinating when you find something that’s so personal
to you, it’s going to be personal to someone else, too. And so, if you can reach out to
people about what you’re passionate about and get them excited about it, it’s really
neat to see how that spreads. And who doesn’t want to get on board with helping kids? I
mean, that’s just kind of a no brainer. And so, if you have an idea about something,
no idea is too small and one person can really make a difference. And so just finding what
you’re passionate about in order to help the kids stay active, no matter how crazy the
idea might seem, don’t give up on it. Because, like I said, little ideas like that can really
turn into big things and impact a lot of people. And so that’s just something that we’ve done
there in our little town that’s made a huge impact in our state.>>Trevor Drinkwater: One of our council members,
I use as an example, he started — [inaudible] started an organization called Fit-Ups Foundation,
which I’ve got the honor of learning more about this year. It’s been really inspiring
to me. And the focus, I know our focus is on youth, but I think this has a cycling effect
on youth as well. The foundation focuses on getting veterans back into being physically
active. A lot of veterans come out of being — in the serving in the military and grew
up being extremely active and that’s what defined them. And then later on in life, they
find themselves out of shape and maybe not in the same physical shape that they were
in, which also hinders their ability and confidence when they’re bringing up their kids to be
physically fit — physically fit. So, Matt’s organization tries to turn that
around and actually takes veterans back into boot camp and get them back into shape and
actually certifies them to become personal trainers and it’s had a profound impact on
these veterans and their families. And personally, I’ve been able to see some of the impact this
year. So, you know, I think organizations like that, that really focus on inspiring
people to be physically fit and also get their families to be inspired as well are important
programs.>>Robert Goldman: I think it’d be really
neat if we could identify some social media stars. I mean, we just had a big sports festival,
had about 70,000 people, and there was a line of like thousands of people online to meet
with some social media fitness person who was nobody. They were just a YouTube star.
They have millions and millions of followers. I don’t know why, but they do. And you have
an MMA UFC champion here, a line of a hundred people. This line, 3000 people. It was insane.
So, maybe if we identify some of these individuals who have these massive followings of millions
of people — why, I don’t know, but they do — I think — and they start doing the exercises
and they start, “Yeah, kids, you need to do this.” They’ll buy the shoes, they’ll buy
the hat and they’ll do the exercise. Beats me. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it.>>Robert Wilkins: A simple idea, which I
did in my own neighborhood, was to ask my neighbors to start exercising because since
they knew that I was on the President’s Council, I said, you know, it doesn’t have to be a
walk. It can be mowing the lawn. It can be walking to Starbucks instead of riding. So,
what I decided to do after I saw many of them exercising, I made a certificate and I put
the logo on it and I put my name on it and I just encourage them to keep exercising and
to become fitness advocates. And then some of the members have seen here on the council
that I start posting it on my own Facebook and Instagram. Well, now many people in the
neighborhood want the certificate. They want to be recognized. They want to be thanked
for exercising. And I think it was just a very simple idea that doesn’t cost me much.
But now it’s almost a challenge in the neighborhood. “Did you get a certificate?” And if you haven’t,
there’s a way to get it. And so, it can be swimming, it can be running, but whatever
makes you physically fit or physically active, I’m glad to recognize it. From our baseball
teams to our basketball teams to, I saw a lady rolling in her wheelchair and I can’t
wait to give her a certificate.>>Kristina Harder: Well, thank you all. That
concludes the deliberation portion. And thank you guys for sharing your ideas and insights.
I know we’ve got a lot of work to do in the coming months and a lot of ideas that we’re
going to share together.>>Jennifer Bishop: So, a few moments ago,
Jim had identified the National Fitness Foundation as a potential partner and we wanted to invite
Mr. Clay Walker to the podium to tell a little bit about what the National Fitness Foundation
has been doing the last few years and how they will help us with this sports strategy.
Clay. Clay Walker: Great. Thank you, Jennifer, and
thank you, council members, really appreciate the dialogue there and appreciate having an
opportunity to speak to you this afternoon. Make sure I have this which way, there we
go. Who are we? So, I’m Clay Walker. As Jennifer said, I’m the Executive Director of the National
Fitness Foundation. The foundation is the only congressionally chartered nonprofit in
the country period. It is focused on youth sport, health, and fitness. We are also your
charity, we’re your activation arm, the opportunity for you guys to extend your work. Well, earlier
this morning or earlier this afternoon, Katrina, and the team from ODPHP, here’s your roadmap.
This is fantastic work that took a long time to get together. You’ve just mentioned it,
Johnny mentioned it, Rob mentioned it, Rob Wilkins mentioned it, everyone here. Jim Worthington has said you need resources,
so what are we going to do about that? Well, today we’re announcing we’re launching
this. This is intended to support the work of the council. This is intended to support
the National Youth Sports Strategy and Brenda mentioned this, this is intended to make this
policy permanent. Let’s have an endowment that extends past this term and the next term.
By the way, a few of you have asked me, what happens when my term ends? Well, guess what?
When your term ends, you automatically become an honorary board member of the National Fitness
Foundation. So, you’re not done with me yet. Okay, so why an endowment? Endowments, you think about a university endowment.
This is a national mechanism to support the work that you’re doing. This supports the
strategy. All the work that the CDC did is critically important. We’ve got to find a
way to support it. Who’s going to benefit? You’ve all said it today, kids, families,
local communities. That’s why this is incredibly critical. I think Jerome mentioned it during
his remarks. This is something that impacts all Americans. This is a slide that we should
spend a little bit of time looking at because the council has mentioned it and we’ve been
talking in the crowd amongst ourselves at the break. We’ve got to have a partnership
framework that brings stakeholders to the table. Corporate America, you’ve mentioned a few
times. We need to invite them, and we are inviting them to participate. State foundations,
we believe that we can’t do this alone. We need states to stand up and do the same thing.
We need California, we need Nevada, we need Maryland, we need Virginia, we need other
states to do the same thing. You mentioned the NCAA, Johnny, coaches. They’re a great
resource. The NCAA is one of our best resources. They were pointed out, Ohio State as a bright
spot. They have assets. The Ohio State University that runs the Life
Sport, they have more than a billion dollars-worth of athletic facilities. Well, there are 2000
universities, division one, two and three around the country. I need your help to turn
those into green spaces where they can all do the same thing, open their doors. NFHS,
for those of you who don’t know, that organization is the National Federation of State High Schools.
There are 27,000 high schools. Earlier this week, I met with the YMCA, who’s here in the
audience, thank you, and they talked about their shared use agreements of what they’re
doing with local facilities. We need to engage the National Federation
of State High Schools and those 27,000 schools so that they can get on board. Media and tech
companies, we talked a little bit about are they the enemy? We don’t think so. We think
they need to have a seat at the table. Ashlee pointed that out, right. They can be someone
that can help us. And I used to work for the NFL Players Association. We did a lot of research
and we know for a fact that people that play — kids that play Madden football are twice
as likely to play real football as the kids that don’t. So, we can find a way for them
to have a seat at the table. I mentioned the National Council of Youth
Sports, youth sports organizations, NCYS is here today. They represent 50, 60 million
kids. They need to have a seat at the table as we move forward with this. I’ve got hall
of fame organizations. We’re working with the Pro-football Hall of Fame. We just signed
a partnership agreement with Minor League Baseball, 160 minor league baseball stadiums
around the country. That’s great access, great opportunity. In July of 2020, we are launching
a program with Miley Baseball called Youth Baseball Weekend America and we’ve going to
get — we’re going to go get more kids. We’re going to get all of those clubs, all of those
coaches, all those communities on board to support the National Youth Sports Strategy. USOC’s, we can’t leave the USOC and the NGBs
out. Pro-sports leagues, I’m proud to say I’m wearing my little Chargers bracelet today.
The Chargers are announcing they’re the first professional sports team to stand up and endorse
the National Youth Sports Strategy. They are repurposing their weekend. It’s the 60th anniversary
of the Los Angeles Chargers, this weekend. It’s the 100th anniversary of the National
Football League and they’re making a third pillar and it’s the National Youth Sport Strategy. [applause] They’re doing an event Friday, Saturday, and
Sunday. Some team had to go first and they were willing to go first. So, who do we have
here? We’ve got organizations that have stood up and said, we will support you. We’ll sign
your pledge. We will be a supporter of the overall effort. I’m going to — they’re all
fabulous. I’m just going to point out a couple of them. AAU, we’re very, very grateful because
AAU was the first youth sports organization to stand up and to say, we’re with you. They
hadn’t seen this document, but they believed in what HHS and ODPHP and this council was
doing, and they said, we’re in. Not only did they say that they were in, they now run that
Presidential Youth Fitness Program that has been around for more than 50 years. So, thank
you AAU for stepping up on that. [applause] I mentioned states. The Florida Sports Foundation
is the first state they’re launching their own endowment, their own effort in the state.
They — if you’re going to donate money in Florida, you’re going to help kids — you
want to help kids in your backyard. You talk about in Orange County, you talk about in
Orlando. Money that’s raised there is going to go to support Florida youth sports programs. I already mentioned minor league baseball.
I’ve got one here, PPF, and my friend Matt Stover, who’s sitting in the front row. Matt
played 20 years in the NFL. Johnny, he’s like you. He’s got a couple of rings, Super Bowl
Rings, not world series rings. Matt runs an organization that has got 125 current and
former coaches, athletes and entertainers and their foundations. So, those are bright
spots that are already out in the community. Those are the role models that he’s here because
he’s supporting this strategy and wants to get involved and wants to get engaged with
this council wants to get engaged with the overall strategy. A couple of other — yeah.
Thank you, Matt. Thank you. [applause] Two more that I’ll point out here. Potomac
soccer, a lot has been said about Club Soccer. It’s too expensive. Kids can’t afford it.
Well, guess what, Club Soccer is not going away. So, let’s find a way to work with them.
Well, Potomac is one of those rare club organizations that has gone out of its way to create scholarships
so that all kids, they do not turn kids down. That is what we need as a model for all Club
Soccer. So, thank you, Potomac for doing that. Last, NBC Sports is our first media partner.
NBC Sports is supporting us in numerous ways. They own a technology company called Sports
Engine. They’re here today. Sports Engine has tens of millions of families in their
system. You’re talking about social media, well, Sports Engine has already stood up and
said, we will convey this message over and over and over to our audience, tens of millions
of people that are engaged, and we will work with you to extend and expand that message
beyond the people that are in our system. Because they are committed to it and they
are bringing to bear not just their sports engine assets, but also their assets with
NBC Sports. So, I want to go through a few firsts. We’ve
got some first here, we’ve got Max Scherzer, who was the first professional athlete to
sign the pledge. Herschel Walker was there. John Harbaugh, first coach, kind of small,
but we’ll go through those. The first charitable foundation to support us, the Player’s Philanthropy
Fund. The first college coach to sign the pledge to support this, Rob Scarlatti [phonetic
sp] from Georgetown University. We got our first high school football coach last week,
Andy Stefanelli [spelled phonteically] from Our Lady of Good Counsel. And last night we
hosted the first member of Congress to sign the American Youth Sports Pledge, Madeline
Dean. We’ve also got the first council member to sign it. I’m going to call that a tie between
Hershel Walker and Jim Worthington, who also co-hosted our fundraiser in Dallas with Mary
Owen from the Ralph Wilson Foundation. First Professional Sports League, I mentioned Minor
League Baseball. First pro sports team, the L.A. Chargers. The first fortune 500 companies,
Brenda, thank you. Boston scientific who stood up before there was a published strategy more
than six months ago, they said we’re in. So, thank you. And I mentioned already, you’re
the first youth sports organization to stand up and to support the National Youth Sport
Strategy. So, we’ve talked about options. How do people
get involved? Well, you’ve touched on — this group has touched on a lot of the areas of
focus. Our areas of focus, coaches, and volunteers. We need more of them. We’ve talked about how
critical they are, that’s one area. Girls. Girls programs and the outcomes that girls
have from sports participation cannot be discounted. That’s the second area of focus. Facilities,
some people call it venues, some people call it facilities, you can call it infrastructure.
I’m not sure who mentioned that Rob, maybe Congress, this is an infrastructure bill that
everybody should support. We need to make sure that there are facilities with access.
Equipment, goes without saying, you can’t play without it. And the last one, the Presidential
Youth Fitness program, that program does not get one single federal dollar and we need
to change that because we still believe that program, those patches, those certificates
are valuable and it’s a valuable way to reach kids. So, going through here, coaches and volunteers,
they’re the backbone of the youth sports ecosystem. So, without quality coaches, youth sport participation
opportunities are going to decrease. We know that, so we’ve got to focus on that. Where
are the programs going? We’re aiming to recruit, and I mentioned YMCA, YMCA has millions of
volunteers. AAU has millions of volunteers. Boys and Girls Club has millions of volunteers.
Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Let’s — we’re inviting YMCA to participate, to have a seat
at the table. We’re inviting AAU to participate and have a seat at the table because they
are experts. Rob, you mentioned you’re not sure how to do it. Well, let’s bring the experts
in and put them side by side with you so we can talk about how to move that forward. Girls’ programs, some of these stats are just
startling. Sea Level, CEO women. 94% of female CEOs participated in youth sport. If we know
that, why aren’t we putting — making that more of an emphasis in this country. All of
that data in terms of the impact of what it does to a young girl’s life is something that
is too important for us to ignore. So, that’s the second area of focus. Facility program,
I mentioned. No fields, no gyms, no fitness centers, no youth sport fitness activities.
This is going to impact communities positively. We have experts in the room. Jim mentioned
IHRSA. We had a conversation with IHRSA about how to do it with their facilities, but IHRSA
is such a benevolent organization they’re not just looking to do it for their members,
they’re looking to impact the community. So, that’s the type of organization that we want
to partner with. Equipment. Johnny, you mentioned used equipment.
Next week, I don’t know if the Sports Fitness Industry Association is in here, but we are
presenting to their Board of Directors next week. We want to get their used equipment,
things that would end up in the discount bin, that would end up in the outlets. So, let’s
— it may not be used, but let’s make sure that those organizations have a chance to
participate. And the last slide here is the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. You’ve
mentioned how we’re not just solely focused on youth sport in America. It’s the main focus,
but we want to make sure these kids have in school physical education and that’s the best
way for us to do it. So, that program emphasizes student health, goal setting. It’s important.
We have a great partner in AAU, we need more. We need more support for that. So, as I close, I would say to this group,
this is a big invitation. If you look back at that slide with all the partners on it,
we’re inviting everyone that is a stakeholder, everyone that wants to contribute, that wants
to be part of this initiative. This is a big, bold, sweeping public policy change. We’re
asking and inviting corporations, institutions, nonprofits, to stand up and help us, to support
us. And the last thing I would say is, let’s not make villains of the fast food companies.
Let’s not make villains of the soft drink companies. Let’s ask them to come to the table.
And I asked this council to do — to work with us, to work with your official charity
to get out there. When we’re making these presentations, we want to make sure that your
voice is heard. So, it’s not just your charity, but it’s your voices. So, thank you this afternoon
for having me participate and I firmly, firmly believe in what we’re doing. Last, I keep saying I’m going to close. Those
of you who know me, it’s a good thing I didn’t go first. I, too, people ask me how do I get
so excited about it, and I think, again, Jerome mentioned his — one of his younger siblings
have a disability. My youngest brother was born with cerebral palsy, couldn’t play, and
so you have this opportunity to play, and you saw in the 80s, he couldn’t because there
weren’t systems. Well, I’m determined to make sure that all kids have access regardless.
And this is what the admiral said, regardless of ethnicity, sex, zip code, youth sports
for all is what we’re all about. Thank you. [applause]>>Kristina Harder: Thank you very much, Clay.
His — those of you who know him, he is incredibly inspiring, passionate, never stops working
and always supporting the cause. So, thank you so much for your time, Clay. So, folks,
that brings us to the end of our meeting. I want to say a huge welcome to those of you
who’ve taken the time to participate, our speakers, to our volunteers, the ODPHP team,
OWH, LMH, the volunteers that have helped us make this whole thing happen. We also want
to thank those of you watching online and those of you in the room. We know there are
a lot of ways to spend your time, so we’re very thankful that you decided to spend it
with us. And finally, and most importantly, thank you council members so much for being
here. You guys have incredible insights. Your time is precious. The resources and the insight
that you bring to the table is inspiring. Like I said, these are servants and are just
willing to work so hard and want to bring to bear all that we’ve discussed today about
the National Youth Sports Strategy and the mission of the council. So, at this time, I’m going to pass it over
to Ms. Jennifer Bishop, and she will officially adjourn our meeting.>>Jennifer Bishop: Thank you very much. Again,
I’m thanking everyone for their time and their effort for being here and I am now officially
closing out this annual meeting of the President’s Council for Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.
Thank you.>>Female Speaker: Produced by the US Department
of Health and Human Services at taxpayer expense.


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