Bill Clinton, Kobe Bryant to Moderate ‘ESPN Town Hall: Kids and Sports’

Tony Maglio
The Wrap
Bill Clinton, Kobe Bryant to Moderate ‘ESPN Town Hall: Kids and Sports’

Bill Clinton and Kobe Bryant will join forces in a discussion about the role of sports in the lives of children and the health of the nation for “ESPN Town Hall: Kids and Sports.”

The program will inform the work of the Aspen Institute Project Play, which recognizes that in some U.S. communities just one in five kids play sports.

President Clinton will host the conversation on Monday, Jan. 13, at the third annual Clinton Health Matters Conference in La Quinta, California. The conference will showcase what leaders from across sectors — business, technology, sports and philanthropy — are doing to contribute to the health and wellness of people throughout the United States. The town hall will consider which children get access to today’s youth sports system, which of them don’t — and the health consequences for each group.

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ESPN will air a condensed version of the event on ESPN2, on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET. The event and show will examine national trends in participation, which indicate that despite the growth of organized youth sports as an industry, most children between the ages of 6 and 17 do not regularly play on a team. The show will also consider the safety, cost and other barriers to participation explored in ESPN The Magazine’s kids and sports themed issue.

“Sports give young people the opportunity to be active, stay healthy, and live up to their best potential,” said President Clinton.  “This conversation, as part of the Health Matters Conference, will bring leaders from sports, health, education, and other sectors to address the need and value of good coaching, and access to physical activity for all children.”

Bryant, a father of two daughters and an NBA Champion, added, “Today’s kids are the least active in history and, dropping out of sports at alarming rates.”

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President Clinton and Bryant’s dialogue will be moderated by ESPN commentator Mike Greenberg of ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike.” Separately, the program will also engage the voices of U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun, Olympic Gold Medal Sprinter Allyson Felix, MLB All-Star Matt Kemp, and former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, in a panel discussion led by Aspen Institute Sports & Society director and ESPN contributor Tom Farrey.

In addition, ESPN commentator and former U.S. Women’s National Soccer team captain Julie Foudy will join Greenberg in a Q&A session with teens and explore their thoughts from a youth perspective.

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