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Sep 17, 2019

Aspen Institute Releases Youth Sports Report on Hawaii

State of Play Hawai'i shows that twenty-six percent of Native Hawaiian youth meet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

HONOLULU, September 17, 2019 – A new report released by the Sports & Society Program at the Aspen Institute analyzes the state of youth sports in Hawai'i and offers recommendations to grow access to quality sport options for all children. State of Play Hawai'i is the product of an eight-month analysis examining how well adults in the state are serving youth through sports, regardless of zip code or ability.

The report, guided by a task force of local leaders, features results from a survey of more than 500 youth, parents and community leaders statewide, an analysis of the youth sport ecosystem in each of Hawai'i’s four counties, one big “Game Changer” opportunity, and 24 sector-specific ideas that stakeholders could adopt.

The executive summary and full report are available to read here: https://onipaa.org/pages/research-and-evaluation.

Among the key findings in Hawai'i:

  • The top three sports kids said they wanted to try were snowboarding/skiing, fencing and judo/karate/kajukenbo. This information is reflective among Native Hawaiian youth, who also responded that these are the top three sports they wanted to try.
  • Forty-nine percent of youth said they don’t play sports more because they have too much school work; Twenty-six percent said they don’t feel they are good enough to play or don’t have time due to family responsibilities.
  • Sixty-five percent of kids said the reason they like to play sports is to be with friends. Fifty percent said they play to have fun and forty-two percent said they like to learn new skills. Winning ranked 11th in reasons why kids like to play sports.
  • Preliminary research suggests that youth sports parents in Hawai'i spend $732 per child annually in one sport, higher than the national average. Many kids don’t last long in the sport – barely two years on average.
  • Kids are moving away from local leagues at young ages to play year-round for teams farther from home, relying almost solely on parents and cars for transportation. Eighty-nine percent of kids surveyed reported that a family member drives them to practice or games.
  • Twenty-six percent of Native Hawaiian youth meet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day, compared with 20% of all youth throughout the state of Hawai'i. The national average is twenty-six percent.
  • About 53% of the youth surveyed statewide said they are rarely or never asked by a teacher or coach what they want to do in class or practice. These percentages are consistent with other areas of the country where the Aspen Institute has conducted surveys of youth.
  • The state’s greatest strength is its culture and a growing desire of its kamali‘i to reconnect with tradition and language. That reconnection can lead naturally to improving physical and sports literacy in the state.

The report was commissioned by Liliʻuokalani Trust.

State of Play Hawai'i is the Aspen Institute’s first assessment of a single U.S. state, and the eighth overall community report.  The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. An initiative of the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program, Project Play develops, applies and shares knowledge that helps stakeholders build healthy communities through sports. For more information, visit www.ProjectPlay.us.

About Lili’uokalani Trust

Liliʻuokalani Trust was established in 1909 by Hawaiʻi’s last ruling monarch, the beloved Queen Liliʻuokalani. Her Deed of Trust directs that the Queen’s assets be utilized to serve and provide for orphan and destitute Hawaiian children, in perpetuity. With its vision of “e nā kamalei lupalupa, thriving Hawaiian children,” LT believes that every child has the inner strength and self determination to discover their path to a thriving life, and strives to transform lives.

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