Palestinian girls clad in masks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic take part in an open-air boxing training near the beach in Gaza City on May 12, 2020. (Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Palestinian girls clad in masks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic take part in an open-air boxing training near the beach in Gaza City on May 12, 2020. (Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

GSM Live: COVID-19 & The Future of Youth Sports

This event took place on 6/12/2020. View the recording here. To stay up to date on upcoming events, sign up for our newsletter.

Governors announce the reopening of major leagues and communities, but what does this mean for youth sport? Professional teams may have deeper pockets to fund necessary precautions for players, but the youth and community sports industry has suffered major financial setbacks due to COVID-19. Even given the green light, without a vaccine available, many parents aren't willing to take the risk.

In a recent poll, Global Sport Institute asked whether parents would allow their children to return to their organized sport, 62% said they would not due to concerns of catching COVID-19, and 63% said that they wouldn't allow their child to return until there was a vaccine.

Sport is a way for kids and young adults to find community, build skills and confidence, as well as maintain a healthy lifestyle. With the absence of sport, 72% of parents we asked reported that the inability to play sports has caused their child stress or anxiety. What can parents do in the interim to create safe ways for their youth to engage in sport?

This episode we talk to the experts about how kids are coping without sport, what it will take for parents to feel safe, and ways parents can engage their kids in sport through the summer. In light of current events, our conversation will also center on the role our youth can play in creating social change through sport.

Joining the conversation:

Bobby Dulle | General Manager, Phoenix Rising Football Club. Bobby Dulle is in his fourth season as Phoenix Rising FC’s General Manager.  As GM, Dulle is responsible for overseeing all business and sport operations. Prior to his time with Phoenix Rising FC, he previously spent nine seasons with the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters and while there, he oversaw Globetrotters global touring operations. Dulle earned his bachelor’s degree in 2006 from Grand Canyon University while competing with the men’s soccer team. He and his wife, Teressa, reside in Chandler with their two sons, Landon (8), Hudson (7) and their daughter Elena (3). Visit Phoenix Rising FC.

Renata Simril | President and CEO of LA84 Foundation. Formed as a legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Summer Games, LA84 transforms lives through its investment in youth sport programs, infrastructure, research, and education across eight Counties of Southern California, and is a national leader in elevating the role that sports play in positive youth development. Prior to this role, Renata served as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Publisher of the Los Angeles Times, where she oversaw staff operations and special projects. Her earlier career included three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where she served as Senior Vice President of External Affairs and over a decade in real estate development with Jones Lang LaSalle, Forest City Development and LCOR, Inc. Visit LA84 Foundation.

Eric Legg | Assistant Professor in the School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University. Eric's research uses a socio-ecological approach to explore the question of how we construct community sport experiences to maximum positive development outcomes, with a specific focus on positive youth development. Recognizing that youth sports exist within an ecological framework that includes coaches, parents, participants, volunteers, and management structures, Legg approaches this question through a variety of lenses including social-psychology, and management theories. Legg’s teaching and research is informed by his previous work experience in municipal parks and recreation, as well as his volunteer experience with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the founding of his own non-profit organization (Tennis on the Hill).

Dr. Ahada McCummings | Up2Us Sports National Director, Strategic Partnerships, Raleigh, North Carolina. As the National Director of Strategic Partnerships at Up2Us Sports, Ahada is responsible for identifying and cultivating relationships with strategic partners such as youth serving organizations, sports teams and school districts. She currently manages high-priority initiatives with adidas and RISE to build expertise, outreach and delivery of cutting-edge training content that empowers coaches to address issues pertaining to gender, race and social equity. Prior to working at Up2Us Sports, Ahada worked in the mental health field as a licensed professional counselor for 15 years, used her counseling background to work in the mental training field with athletes and teams around mental performance improvement, and later received her doctorate in Global Training & Development so that she could further use her knowledge and skill set to improve performance within organizations. Ahada is also the founder and CEO of a non-profit, sport-based youth development organization, as well as a high school and club volleyball coach. Visit Up2Us Sports.

Led by:
Scott Brooks | Director of Research, Global Sport Institute

Global Sport Matters Live is a conversation series presented by Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University and Global Sport Matters. Diverse thought leaders and experts will come together virtually to give their perspective on the most relevant issues impacting sport. From their corner of the globe, a rotation of guests will discuss what they’re facing locally, take questions and ideas from a virtual audience, and share solutions that improve the world of sport.