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Google Hosts Conference on Youth Sports and Technology


Gopi Kallayil from Google’s Brand Marketing speaks at the conference.
Sport is as basic as running, as ancient as tribal rivalry, and as universal as the drive to survive. How can and should sports mash up with 21st-century technology? A conference last week at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Cal., titled From Digital to Physical Play: Can Tech Make It Happen?, looked at youth sports in iPhone age. Participants, including the Tom Farrey of the Aspen Institute and Jim Whitehead of ACSM, dived deeply into how technology can help more children enjoy sports and other physical activity. One session, moderated by Nathan Plowman of Nike Access to Sport, looked at how mapping technology can be used in new and dynamic ways to understand gaps in providing sport/recreation opportunities for kids.

Also up for discussion was the question of how to serve kids who lack access or fall out of the sports system, while less visible sports programs have capacity that represents opportunities for them. Another session explored how added features and functionality might enhance passive video games, encouraging kids to get off the couch and play—and perhaps even sign up to play real sports.

The fertile interaction among thought leaders concluded with a review of opportunities through the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, whose goals are to "reduce the prevalence of preventable health outcomes, close health inequity and disparity gaps, and reduce health care costs by improving access to key contributors to health for all people." more


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