GREATER ORLANDO SPORTS COMMISSION JOINS FORCES WITH REGIONAL YOUTH SPORTS LEADERS
Youth Sports Task Force will be led by Shalisa Griffin
“Access leads to opportunity; opportunity leads to participation.”
ORLANDO, Fla. (August 5, 2020) – The Greater Orlando Sports Commission (GO Sports) will be joined by more than 30 regional leaders to participate in a newly formed youth sports task force. The task force will be charged with identifying key issues and collaborating to develop solutions that will be shared with community leaders and industry partners with the hope that these best practices will be adopted regionally and in other marketplaces.
Industry experts believe that the current youth sports model can be reimagined in an effort to make organized youth sports available to all. According to The Aspen Institute Project Play 2019 State of Play: Trends and Developments in Youth Sports, “in 2018, 22% of kids ages 6 to 12 in households with incomes under $25,000 played sports on a regular basis, compared to 43% of kids from homes earning $100,000 or more. Kids from the lowest-income homes are more than three times as likely to be physically inactive.” The Institute also uncovered that the average span of a child’s participation in sports is less than three years. Not to mention even lower rates for children with special needs, and intellectual and physical disabilities.
“Research shows an increasing number of adolescents are physically inactive. Our goal is to develop solutions to address the widening gap and inequities that are marginalizing families with low income and families with special-needs children. Opportunity leads to access, and access leads to participation,” says Jason Siegel, President and CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission. “We are proud to have Shalisa Griffin on our team lead this collaborative effort as we come together to find solutions.”
Griffin, the Director of Business Development & Events at the Greater Orlando Sports Commission is in her third year with the organization. She graduated from Delaware State University and went on to complete the DeVos Sports Business Management Graduate Program at UCF. The DeVos Program, now in its 16thyear, is chaired by human rights activist Dr. Richard E. Lapchick, and was instituted with an emphasis on the impact sports have on social justice.
Dr. Lapchick is scheduled to address members of the task force during their first meeting.
“I have had conversations on this topic with several of our partners and friends in the industry, and I hear a common theme—there is a clear disconnect between the opportunities made available to our youth of low socioeconomic status and their affluent peers,” said Griffin. “I am hopeful that we can get to the root of it and develop meaningful, tangible, and long-lasting solutions using the influence of the organizations we have invited to join the task force.”
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About Greater Orlando Sports CommissionGO Sports is a private, non-profit organization established to attract and manage sports-related events, conferences and activities that drive positive economic development in the City of Orlando, Lake County, Orange County,
Osceola County, and Seminole County. Founded in 1993, the organization has hosted or co-hosted more than 1,400 events in the Greater Orlando area with a total economic impact exceeding $1.78 billion in spending within the community. For more information, please visit GreaterOrlandoSports.com.