Aspen Institute Searches for Exemplary High School Sports Teams that Place Athletes First

March 14, 2019

The Healthy Sport Index Contest will identify teams that support the overall well-being of athletes across a variety of sports   

Contact: Jon Solomon
Editorial Director, Sports & Society Program
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, March 14, 2019 – The Sports & Society program at the Aspen Institute, in partnership with Hospital for Special Surgery, is conducting a national search to identify exemplary and innovative sports teams that model best practices for developing healthy athletes. The Healthy Sport Index Contest encourages applicants to demonstrate how their high school sports team builds athletes for life and creates healthy communities.

Sports teams can be nominated here.

The search is in connection with the Healthy Sport Index, a first-of-its-kind tool designed to assess the health benefits of high school sports. Recognizing that all sports can offer benefits to their participants, the Healthy Sport Index exists to help parents, children and other stakeholders make informed decisions about the most popular sports.

Seventeen winners across a variety of sports will receive a $500 award, national recognition through a story written by the Aspen Institute, distinction as a model for other programs on the Healthy Sport Index website, and the opportunity for a representative to attend the Project Play Summit. Rules of the contest are available here.

Winners will be high school sports teams that embrace best practices and innovate to encourage physical activity, minimize injury risk, and support athletes’ emotional, social and mental well-being. Nominations are limited to teams in high school sports that are part of Healthy Sport Index, which represent the most popular sports based on national participation data:

Basketball (Boys/Girls)
Competitive Cheerleading
Cross Country (Boys/Girls)
Lacrosse (Boys/Girls)
Soccer (Boys/Girls)
Swimming (Boys/Girls)
Tennis (Boys/Girls)
Track and Field (Boys/Girls)
Volleyball (Girls)

The Aspen Institute wants to hear about all teams that have been creative and solved problems, including those disadvantaged by resources and/or geography. Nominations will be accepted throughout 2019 and into 2020. The first winner will be announced in Fall 2019.

The mission of the Sports & Society program is to convene leaders, foster dialogue, and inspire solutions that help sport serve the public interest, with a focus on the development of healthy children and communities. The program provides a venue for thought leadership where knowledge can be deepened and breakthrough strategies explored on a range of issues. Its signature initiatives are Project Play and Future of Sports.

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. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the ninth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit



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