Project aims to create quality youth sports programs in Baltimore – Baltimore Sun

When Keney Davis played soccer or tennis, it elicited her aggression, but in the pool as a member of the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School swim team she found peace and motivation.

“If I have a bad day in school, I can’t wait for swim practice, because in the water you’re just floating,” said Keney, 16, who will be a junior in the fall. “You’re just doing you. You don’t have to worry about other people.”

She’s found she can channel those positive feelings to other parts of her life and now understands the importance of picking the right sport. That’s the goal of a three-year initiative that’s been launched in Baltimore to transform the state of youth athletics by studying the quality and accessibility of programs, directing teams to available facilities and connecting kids with the most appropriate sports.

Known as Project Play, the partnership between Under Armour and the Washington-based Aspen Institute aims to use Baltimore as a laboratory to guide other cities in the development of programs that help urban youths stay fit and engaged.