Durbin Introduces Resolution in Support of Chicago 2016 Urban Sport Initiative

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced a resolution supporting the establishment of an Urban Youth Sports Initiative as a legacy of the City of Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The City of Chicago and Chicago 2016, in partnership with the United States Olympic Committee, propose an Urban Youth Sports Initiative to expand access for young people to quality urban youth sports programs. Today’s introduction coincides with the International Olympic Committee’s arrival in Chicago for the 2016 Olympic site evaluation.


“The Olympic and Paralympic Games showcase athletic performance at its very best,” said Durbin. “But the benefits and rewards of participating in sports aren’t limited to these world-class athletes. The City of Chicago and Chicago 2016 recognize the value of showcasing elite athletes here in the United States and the inspiration that can bring into our urban communities and schools. The Urban Youth Sports Initiative builds on that, by encouraging young people to participate in sports and organized physical education. The City’s bid to host the Games can be used to foster healthy attitudes and lifestyles in children, and I am proud to support these activities.”


As a growing number of American children are experiencing diabetes and heart disease linked to obesity, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education reports that participation among American students in physical education has declined dramatically. In fact, the rate of participation by urban youth – particularly young girls – in organized athletics is approximately one-third of the rate of suburban youth.


The Urban Youth Sports Initiative would increase involvement of urban youth in sport, increase the training and availability of coaches in urban areas for youth sports and enhance the ability of urban cities to administer youth sports programs. The City of Chicago and Chicago 2016 are committed to this initiative which would establish sustainable urban sport venues and connect them with programs that address coaching challenges and resource issues.