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Pro Leagues, Federal Government Partnering For Kids


If you want to promote physical activity and playing sports in America a good strategy is to recruit the biggest organizations in the country to spearhead the effort. Add in the power of the U.S. government and you have quite an ambitious effort to get kids playing.

That is exactly what is happening as the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, along with the WNBA, Major League Soccer, NWSL and the PGA Tour — 14 leagues and players associations in total – are partnering with the Biden administration “to boost physical activity and increase nutrition programming across the country,” according to an announcement earlier this month from White House.

• As part of the effort, the NFL plans to build on its PLAY60 initiative, a national health campaign focused toward kids that encourages 60 minutes of active movement per day. The NFL also will be awarding $3000 in PLAY 60 grants for physical activity equipment at three schools, in partnership with the American Heart Association.

• At the same time, the NBA and WNBA will be promoting activity to youth while “taking action to combat food insecurity,” according to the White House.

• In addition, the NHL has pledged to make financial commitments to programs such as the NHL and NHLPA’s Learn to Play program, which provides free equipment and instruction to first-time youth hockey players; the Hockey is for Everyone Coalition, another NHL and NHLPA collaboration seeking to promote diversity in the sport; and NHL STREET, the NHL’s official youth hockey league.

• Major League Baseball has committed to expanding its PLAY BALL program, an initiative to teach kids about baseball and softball.

• MLS has committed to providing more than 2.5 million meals through programs like the food recovery programs implemented by the league in partnership with D.C. United at Audi Field.

• The NWSL said the league’s players would speak at local events in order to promote activity, healthy eating and nutrition to community members.

• The PGA Tour pledged to share the official physical activity and dietary guidelines developed by the federal government “with charitable beneficiaries in its host communities.”

These agreements, which the leagues signed with the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, are part of the national strategy announced by the Biden administration in September 2022 that pledged to end hunger in the United States, while increasing healthy eating and physical activity, by 2030.