Obama Establishes Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport

June 17, 2009, 12:37 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 16, 2009) – United States President Barack Obama announced June 16 the formation of the White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport, which has been fully endorsed by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), which USA Volleyball also enthusiastically welcomes.

This permanent White House office will promote the values of the Olympic Movement and encourage increased youth participation in athletics. The primary function of the Office will be to enhance awareness of the Olympic Movement through promotion of its fundamental principles at the federal level.

“It is an important goal of my administration to give our nation’s children every possible tool they need to grow, learn and succeed in life,” President Obama said. “A key part of this is increasing access to healthy, constructive activities like sports for our nation’s children. Too many American kids – particularly those in urban areas – have no access to organized sporting activities. Sports are an important way to instill values, judgment and teamwork in our nation’s kids, and this new office reflects our commitment to giving all our children a chance to thrive. As the International Olympic Committee moves forward with their selection process we hope that this new office can serve as a model for youth involvement worldwide.”

According to USAV Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal, the White House’s creation for this Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport is a welcome partnership that brings together the USOC, the Federal Government and the collective strength of the National Governing Bodies.

“USA Volleyball strongly endorses President Obama’s message with the addition of the Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport as a collaborative effort with the USOC and NGBs,” Beal said. “The future success of our sport, as well as sport generally, relies heavily on attracting youth at the grassroots level from all backgrounds, and President Obama’s vision is very much in line with USA Volleyball’s mission in creating playing opportunities for all youth to enjoy our sport and its role in promoting an active, healthy lifestyle. I see this initiative providing possible additional resources and awareness for USA Volleyball and the Olympic movement to reach our common mission.”

The White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport will:

  • Recommend federal policies and programs to the President to enhance opportunities and access for youth participation in sport, with particular focus on youth in urban areas
  • Foster and encourage youth sporting, educational and cultural events involving Olympic values-based programs and the participation of U.S. Olympians and Paralympians
  • “On behalf of USA Volleyball and the estimated 14 million American youth and adults playing the sport each year in volleyball clubs, school and recreational gyms, on grass and on sand nationwide, we embrace President Obama's initiative to grow sports that improve health and fitness and that promote teamwork and good sportsmanship,” USA Volleyball Chairman of the Board David Schreff said. “We look forward to actively cooperating on this initiative with the White House and USOC in the years ahead.”

    “This is a great day for the Olympic and Paralympic Movement in the United States,” USOC Acting Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Streeter said. “President Obama and Ms. Jarrett have shown great leadership and vision today in embracing the Olympic Movement by establishing this office in the White House. We embrace and welcome this high-level White House support and advocacy for the USOC, Chicago 2016 and the goals of the Olympic Movement. The USOC looks forward to working with the Obama Administration in collaboration with our National Governing Bodies, Multisport Organizations and other key partners to promote youth participation in Olympic and Paralympic sport. Together we will create new opportunities for America’s youth and instill the values inherent in the Olympic Movement.”

    The Office will also work in coordination with appropriate executive departments and agencies, including the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, to:

  • Engage in outreach to state and local government officials, nonprofit organizations and the private sector
  • Coordinate federal resources, and act as liaison to, any organizing committee for an Olympic and Paralympic Games hosted in the United States
  • And work closely with the United States Olympic Committee and national sport governing bodies to increase access and opportunities for youth to participate in sports.
  • About USA Volleyball

    Founded in 1928, USA Volleyball is a Colorado incorporated non-profit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) as the National Governing Body for the sport of Volleyball in the United States.

    USA Volleyball is responsible for both the Olympic disciplines of indoor volleyball and beach volleyball. USA Volleyball has over 240,000 registered members, 12,000 teams and 5,000 clubs nationwide. With an annual budget in excess of $11 million dollars, USA Volleyball supports the USA men’s and women’s senior national team programs, youth and junior national teams, national championship events, coaching education and certification programs, grassroots development, and programs for the disabled and ParalympicTeams. USA Volleyball has a rich tradition of success as evidenced by winning an Olympic medal in every Olympic Games since 1984 and capturing numerous World Cup, World Championship and Continental Championship titles.

    USA Volleyball is committed to and works toward opportunity for all to participate. It is an advocate for all Americans endeavoring to assure universal access to opportunities at all levels of the game.