May 5, 2020

Webinar Recap

Webinars are quickly becoming the new norm during this time. More and more organizations are leading the charge in helping make resources free and accessible for all.

This past Friday, May 1, Project Play WNY, in partnership with the UB Center for the Advancement of Sport, hosted their first webinar on Injury Prevention with Dr. Les Bisson, MD Professor and Chair of the Orthopaedics Surgery at the University at Buffalo and the team physician for the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres. Dr. Bisson stressed the importance of staying active and using this 6-week injury prevention program. Too many young athletes are going to return to sports and have soft tissue injuries due to the long hiatus from competition. We have an opportunity right now to prevent injuries by encouraging and educating our youth to participate in the program.  

Sports Philanthropy Network has been routinely hosting free webinars every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The first session gave a broad overview of challenges that are arising during this time and a look at what the future webinars will be discussing.

A major theme from each webinar is how we are going to provide kids the opportunity to play sports when many organizations are unsure of how they are going to look or what their capacity will be once the ban is lifted. Since organizations are worried about funding and how to properly fundraise during this time, it leaves a lot of questions on what recovery will look like. Sports Philanthropy webinars continue to provide advice on ways to properly fundraise and how to have meaningful conversations with your board. (are these webinars recorded somewhere and if so, should we provide a link to them?)

Our partners at Aspen Institute Project Play have been hosting a webinar each Wednesday discussing various topics of youth sports and discussing possible scenarios we may face in the upcoming months. They predict there will be a higher demand for organized youth sports, but fewer opportunities to participate, similar to the 2008 recession outcome. More children will be priced out of sports because travel costs could skyrocket, while grassroots organizations and house leagues will diminish.

Aspen also recently hosted a youth voice panel, where young athletes discussed with their coaches how they are handling the pandemic. They could not stress enough the importance of their coaches staying connected with them and their teammates. By continuing to give their players updates and assignments, it is creating a routine and helping them navigate the pandemic both physically and mentally.

The Women’s Sports Foundation hosted a panel called #WeKeepPlaying that featured a variety of professional female athletes discussing what they are working toward now that the crisis has postponed all sporting events. Athletes discussed their trials and tribulations, but also noted how thankful they are to be in their position and how this will not stop them from moving forward with their goals. Kate Sowers, Offensive Assistant Coach for the San Francisco 49ers, stated, “It’s not how women lead men, or men lead women, it’s how we lead people.” This rings true for how the youth sports community can prevail and return to sports.

Webinars are a great way to stay connected to the youth sports community in Western New York and beyond. For upcoming webinars, visit our events calendar and follow us on social media for updates and resources.