EDITOR’S NOTE: Youth sports participation rates nationwide are in decline and ESPN is addressing the crisis and bringing awareness through the Don’t Retire, Kid campaign. The goal is to help increase sports participation rates among youth in the United States. The campaign launched on ESPN Sunday, Aug. 4, during the 8 a.m. ET SportsCenter with a PSA featuring a boy announcing his retirement from sports. ESPN networks also will air a series of vignettes with sports stars – including ESPN’s Julie Foudy, Kobe Bryant, Wayne Gretzky, Sue Bird, Mookie Betts, Sloane Stephens, Geno Auriemma, and Muffet McGraw – discussing why youth sports are important and addressing the reasons kids are not participating. To learn more, visit ESPN PressRoom.
espnW writer, soccer commentator, features reporter and host Julie Foudy tells Front Row what inspires her about this campaign.
What does it mean to you to be involved in the Don’t Retire, Kid campaign – aimed at getting youth back into sports?
Sports have been such a gift in my life that I cherish any opportunity to spread that message to young kids and hope to be a catalyst to getting them active again.
What have sports taught you that translates not only to your personal life but career?
I call on something I learned from sports every single day. Sports taught me how to be resilient and confident and disciplined. Sports taught me how to work within a group and lead a group. And most important, sports have taught me how to handle setbacks and celebrate others. Sports truly have been a gift.
What does it mean to have ESPN lead this initiative alongside 20 other organizations?
I think it is huge to have ESPN involved. Lots of youth are watching our shows and games; when we have the opportunity to talk to them about the value of sports and encourage them to keep playing, we are playing an active role in keeping kids healthier and stronger.