HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ – Over the last four or five years Pro Hockey News has had the good fortune of being associated with the animated cartoon series, Asphalt Avengers and its creator, Chris Riley.
School-aged kids are bombarded with hundreds of enticements to stray from the straight and narrow path, away from an objective or away from healthy life choices. There are too few enticements to reorient these same kids back to their path. Urban, rural or frontier (yes there are still frontier areas in the US) environs share the same burden of nurturing kids.
But an effort out of New Jersey takes the best that hockey has to offer and moves it into an engaging and mentoring animation effort called Asphalt Avengers.
New Jersey-based River Edge Productions has created the animation concept starring Martin Brodeur from the New Jersey Devils hockey team (in Episode 1). It is geared toward the 7-11-year old demographic who play sports and ready to seek out production partners and financial backing to help with producing the series.
The principle, Creator of Asphalt Avengers, and executive producer is Chris Riley, whose credits include producer at ESPN, TSN, Leafs TV, and Fox Sports.
The “Asphalt Avengers” is a labor of love for Riley who sees the animated production as a means to get kids engaged in self-awareness and self-discovery.
“It’s about reaching kids in real situations,” Riley said when PHN first reported on the Asphalt Avengers. “We want to get them engaged in healthy activities from an emotional and physical perspective.”
More specifically, how do we get our kids to become engaged in physical activity to overcome this epidemic of diabetes? How do we get them moving and interested in exercise resulting in fewer diagnoses of diabetes? Public health officials in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have funded programs across the nation to address this issue with good results but the rates of diagnosis continue to increase.
“We have a real problem in this country,” Riley says. “We are in danger of losing our kids to so many alternatives that lead them to becoming hooked on video games and the latest phone apps.”
He is not the only one who sees the importance of the Asphalt Avengers. There is interest in the project across a wide variety of business domains and several federal agencies. The trick remains turning that potential energy into kinetic energy and getting resources committed to the project.
Importantly, the Asphalt Avengers goes beyond diabetes and physical activity. Imagine the myriad problems facing our children and youth today and how this animation can reshape the message for their consumption. Cyber-bullying claims how many lives of young people because they have no message that can provide them a way out. How many suicides have we all seen in recent years where young students have been pushed to their extremes and are left, in their minds, with no options?
In the Asphalt Avengers there is a vehicle to be used and exploited around which a message of hope and direction and concern that be crafted and delivered to an audience left wanting.
We at Pro Hockey News are proud to be a supporter of the Asphalt Avengers and present this latest episode of Power Play Break as the creator, Chris Riley, and Ricky O discuss its impact and future.