Who We Are
The Two Americas of Youth Sports
Youth sports provide countless benefits to children, who grow physically, mentally and socially through their involvement in individual and team activities. Yet alarming trends reveal large disparities in opportunity between suburban communities and their urban counterparts.
Youth sports participation is decreasing and the opportunity for kids to play is increasingly tied to a family's income. According to data from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) and the Aspen Institute:
Participation in youth sports is down nearly 8% over the past decade.
1 in 3 children from low-income households participate on a team.
Children from families earning < $25,000 play sports at half the rate of those earning > $100,000.
COVID-19 has increased the play gap, as kids in low-income households are expected to return to sports at a much lower rate than higher income families.
The NFHS is “very worried” that budget cuts of up to 50% will force schools to cut sports.
Without engaging after-school options that are available widely available, children have no outlets for socializing and physical activity and, thus, become vulnerable to gang recruitment. In effect, the youth sports “industry” abandoned children in low income urban communities with its “pay to play” financing system. We recognize the injustice to our children and our responsibility to respond.
How Do We Fix These Injustices?
A Team For Every Child is our response to these disparities and the solution to creating the youth sports structure our children deserve.
We are a national initiative working to provide positive youth sports opportunities for every child across America. Engaging with community leaders in areas of need, our goal is to develop sustainable programming that allows all of our children to experience the joy and benefits of youth sports.
How does A Team For Every Child work? Read inspiring stories from our partners and explore our three pillars below to learn how we provide a community-based approach and make a difference in the lives of children.
 According to a study conducted in June 2020 by the Aspen Institute and Utah State University, 60% of parents making more than $100,000 per year expected their child to resume sports at the same or higher level when safe, compared to just 44% earning under $50,000 per year (a gap that is now likely wider below $25,000).