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Oct. 20: Making youth sports more accessible focus of talk by former ESPN reporter

Tom Farrey
Farrey

PULLMAN, Wash. – Tom Farrey, a former ESPN and Seattle Times reporter, will discuss how to make sport accessible to all children, in a lecture, 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, in Chinook Student Center 150.

Farrey’s address, titled “How to Get a Game On,” is part of the WSU’s Gordon-Enberg Professional Series in Sport Studies.

Farrey is the executive director of the Sports & Society program for the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. The program engages leaders and stakeholders to address challenges at the intersection of sports and society.

His lecture will examine the current landscape of youth sport, now a $15 billion industry dominated by travel teams. He will also discuss ways to sustain children’s interest in physical activity and share lessons on the creation of a movement that addresses a complex social problem in communities.

“Depending on who you talk to, young athletes today are either coddled or burned out,” said Scott Jedlicka, an assistant professor in the College of Education’s Sport Management program. “Tom Farrey’s work transcends that debate by instead emphasizing access to sport opportunities and habitual, lifelong physical activity as the central concerns of youth sport programs.”

Jedlicka said the lecture will appeal to athletes, coaches, parents, and youth sport administrators.

“It will also be geared toward people who are simply committed to helping young people succeed, even outside of sport,” Jedlicka said. “It will be a very inspiring way to kick off Homecoming Weekend in Pullman.”

Farrey’s 2008 book, “Game On: The All American Race to Make Champions of Our Children,” started a movement that culminated in the creation of Aspen Institute’s Project Play, an initiative that provides stakeholders with tools and opportunities to make sport accessible to all children, regardless of zip code or ability.

Hundreds of organizations, from grassroots providers to foundations to professional leagues, have used Project Play’s framework of eight strategies for the eight sectors touching the lives of children to introduce programs or shape their youth strategies.

Farrey’s broadcasting work earned him the 2014 Alfred I. duPont/Columbia University Award, the 2013 Edward R. Murrow Award, and two Emmy Awards. His reports have appeared on “Outside the Lines,” “SportsCenter,” “E:60,” “Good Morning America,” “ABC World News Tonight,” and “This Week.”

The Carol E. Gordon and Mary Lou Enberg Endowed Professional Series in Sport Studies features sport industry experts sharing perspectives on their career experiences in an effort to inspire insight and foster dialogue about both recent and longstanding issues in sport.

The event is made possible by the Sport Management program in the College of Education, in cooperation with University Recreation and the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

 

Contact:

Scott Jedlicka, assistant professor,  College of Education’s Sport Management, 509-335-011,  Scott.Jedlicka@wsu.edu

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