As the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame and its programs steer through the challenges of the past couple years, our work has never felt so vital.
Initial studies on Covid-19 impact show obesity rates have spiked since the start of the pandemic. So have issues with emotional and mental health for children and adults.
A decrease in physical activity is a key factor behind the alarming health trends. Our Healthy Futures program has always promoted the message that an active kid is not only going to be physically healthier, but also more likely to be successful socially and in the classroom.
As the pandemic persists, so must our resolve. Innovation, compassion, and leadership are cornerstone values in our work.
The Healthy Futures Challenge activity logs have provided structure and a goal-setting tool to help kids navigate the uneven terrain of the past couple years. In normal times, Healthy Futures supports dozens of community events around the state. Lately, we’ve all had to get creative. Words like “virtual”, “adapted”, “streaming”and “staggered” have become part of the lexicon. Event directors across the state continue to inspire us with their can-do attitude and our support has never waned.
Studies also indicate Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted lower-income communities and families. Health equity is a program priority and we’re excited to announce the launch of the Healthy Futures Game Changer as a vehicle to formally address the barriers some kids in Alaska face with access to sports and recreation opportunities (see page 2).
And we’re changing things up with PLAAY, our Positive Leadership for Active Alaska Youth initiative. In response to the global pandemic, we decided to make our annual PLAAY Day — normally a 30-minute statewide exercise session — a global event! For a full 24 hours on Feb. 24, 2022, children and adults around the world are invited to join us via livestream for half an hour at noon in their time zone. We’re calling it PLAAY24. (See page 5). We hope you’ll join us as Alaskans set an example for the world!
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame has not yet held a ceremony to honor the Class of 2020. We’re targeting April 2022 and look forward to honoring our 15th group of inductees! In the meantime, thanks to streaming technology we reached thousands of viewers on Facebook Live for the presentation of our annual Directors’ Awards. While we look forward to more live events in the future, we’ve found some tremendous new ways to connect with Alaskans around the state during the pandemic that we plan to continue.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame sports blog has grown up and left the nest. Under the leadership of Van Williams, the blog is now the Alaska Sports Report, a stand-alone media platform working to connect you with Alaska athletes doing great things around the world (see page 2).
Through it all we thank you for your generous support. Together we’re doing good things!
Executive Director, AK Sports Hall of Fame
THIS IS THE ALASKA SPORTS REPORT
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is thrilled to have launched the Alaska Sports Report in October!
From preps to the pros, our award-winning staff will provide in-depth coverage of Alaska athletes that is second to none.
Formerly known as the Alaska Sports Blog, the Alaska Sports Report has expanded its staff to complement editor Van Williams, who single-handedly maintained a daily blog for 12 years.
Williams, a former Anchorage Daily News sports editor and Alaska Press Club award recipient, created a credible news source that applied a new facet to a decaying statewide sports media landscape.
Williams, of East High fame, wrote 4,900 of the 5,000 blog posts, covering more than 1,000 Alaskans at the high school, college and professional levels.
Joining Williams on staff will be a tremendous trio of former newspaper reporters in Doyle Woody, Matias Saari and Matt Nevala.
Woody covered Alaska sports for 34 years as a reporter/columnist for the Anchorage Daily News. The Bartlett High grad was the ADN’s principal hockey writer and won the ECHL’s Most Outstanding Media Award four times.
Saari is a former sportswriter at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner who now serves as a coordinator for Healthy Futures, the signature program of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. He authored a book about Fairbanks’ Equinox Marathon and directs the Mount Marathon Race and Crow Pass Crossing.
Nevala worked at the Anchorage Daily News for more than a decade before moving on to Alaska Newspapers Inc. as assistant managing editor. There he handled duties ranging from prep page editor to Alaska Aces beat reporter to a fishing report. He also co-hosted ‘The Sports Guys’ radio show.
The Alaska Sports Report team also includes executive director Harlow Robinson, development director Shelley Romer, web developer Natalie Osborne, and calendar/events manager Arielle Himelbloom.
We are Alaskans covering Alaskans.
The Alaska Sports Report’s mission is to tell stories about Alaska athletes achieving great things around the world through an innovative, interactive platform.