Little League® Recognized as an Aspen Institute 2021 Project Play Champion Annual program salutes national organizations for taking meaningful action for youth sports

1280px Little League Baseball At Elm Street Park

Based on its commitment to the growth and development of youth sports, Little League® Baseball and Softball has been named a 2021 Project Play Champion by the Aspen Institute’s Project Play initiative. Each year, Project Play honors a select number of national organizations who are taking new, meaningful, and specific actions consistent with Project Play’s strategies for youth sports.

“It is an honor to be recognized as a Project Play Champion and to join such a distinguished group of other national organizations as part of this cohort with The Aspen Institute,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “As the world’s largest youth sports organization, we are committed to providing every child with the opportunity to participate in a Little League program within their community.”

Closely aligned with Project Play’s “8 Plays” strategy, Little League International established its own strategic plan for participation in 2019 to guide its efforts to remove barriers of entry for Little League families, create new programming, and evolve the Little League program to meet the ever-changing family dynamics in the 21st century. As part of this strategic plan, Little League International has been able to launch new and exciting programs directed at the growth of youth baseball and softball, including its Girls with Game initiative, a new brand and mission focused on One Team. One Little League., a Lift Your League fundraising campaign, a Community Tee Ball Affiliation Program, Sandlot Fun Days, grant resources, and more.

“We’re proud to highlight our 2021 Project Play Champions, exemplar organizations working to provide high-quality sport and play opportunities for young people across the country,” said Tom Farrey, Executive Director for the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program. “Each organization’s commitment to a meaningful action aligned with our 8 Plays will both increase the quantity and quality of sport opportunities.”

Launched in 2013, the Aspen Institute’s Project Play develops, applies, and shares knowledge that helps build healthy communities through sports. Project Play works with leading organizations to develop and share best practices and solutions to foster quality sports activity for all youth, regardless of zip code or ability.

Project Play Champions are recognized each year at the Project Play Summit, the nation’s premier annual gathering of leaders at the intersection of youth, sport, and health. The 2021 Project Play Summit will be a virtual event on October 19-20. To learn more, visit

About Project Play
An initiative of the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program, Project Play develops, applies and shares knowledge that helps stakeholders build healthy communities through sports. For more information, visit

About The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. For more information, visit

About Little League®

Founded in 1939, Little League® is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with approximately two million players (ages 4-16) playing baseball and softball in communities across every U.S. state and more than 80 other countries. Operated by more than one million volunteers, Little League believes in the power of youth baseball and softball to teach life lessons that build stronger individuals and communities. From professional athletes and award-winning celebrities, to public officials and other influential members of society, Little League graduates have taken the lessons they learned, both on and off the field, to create the next chapter of the Little League story. Each year, millions of people follow the hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship that Little Leaguers® display at our seven baseball and softball World Series events, the premier tournaments in youth sports. For more information, visit, and follow Little League (@LittleLeague) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. When we all come together, we are truly One Team. One Little League.