NCYS has joined a larger coalition to advocate for federal relief funding to support the youth sports sector in response to COVID-19. PLAY Sports, which stands for Promoting Local and Youth Sports, represents a united front to support young athletes, working families, coaches, and volunteers across the United States, particularly those in under-served areas.
PLAY SPORTS – Promoting Local and Youth Sports
The immediate and time-sensitive first initiative of the Coalition is calling on Congress to assist community organizations not helped by the CARES Act survive until it is safe to return to play. The youth sports industry, comprised almost entirely of volunteers, nonprofits and small businesses, risks a complete collapse.
The intention is to ensure that the institutions connected to youth and local sports survive and thrive coming out of this pandemic. Sports provide significant benefits to young people including physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits. Sports also provide youth with opportunities for building character, leadership and resiliency. The youth sports experience can help society return to a sense of normalcy post-COVID-19 by creating community, connectivity and joy.
The economic losses suffered by this forced pause, while not unique to youth sports, apply to the program providers, particularly sports-based youth development programs serving at-risk youth from under-resourced communities, as well as event facility hosts and large numbers of employees and contractors who make sports possible. Priority consideration in the disbursement of these funds will be given to these programs supporting under-served communities including girls and youth with disabilities.
Youth sports stakeholders may Take Action by informing their elected officials of their support of this effort.