YES! We Can Play is a physical-activity and nutrition after-school program tailored to middle school students. The program seeks to impact the sports readiness of students and makes 60 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity available to 6th-8th grade students.

Additional goals of the program includes increasing physical literacy of the students through education related to both physical activity and nutrition and provides social-emotional learning (SEL) exposure to increase students’ ability to integrate the information and activities of the program into their lives moving forward.


“Sixth grade is a time when we lose athletes because, when they’re looking for things to do, there are no sports offered…We needed a program to address the gap between elementary school and middle school, which is why we collaborated with UAB for YES! We can PLAY.”

– Henry Pope
Athletic Director, Birmingham City Schools

“We want to get children physically active, moving and enjoying what they do,” “YES! We can PLAY helps keep them involved and provides interest by adding another dimension on the few opportunities that exist. An increased variety of organized sport activities will allow students to participate in getting and staying healthy.”

– Sherri Huff, Ed.D.
Program Specialist for Physical Education, Health and Driver Education
Birmingham City Schools

“YES! We Can Play gets kids interested and excited about sports and prepares them to play on school sports teams. Our ultimate goal is that kids develop habits that lead to physical activity and healthy eating integrated throughout their lives,”

– Lori Bateman, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator, Yes! We Can Play!
UAB Division of Preventive Medicine