Sports-Based Youth Development Organizations & Programs Across Southern California Benefit From $1.4+ Million In Grants To Support Play Equity For Childhood Well-Being
LOS ANGELES – The LA84 Foundation awarded more than $1.4 million in grants recently in Southern California, providing support to youth-serving organizations that will reach 250 schools and are expected to serve nearly 50,000 kids in seven counties across the region for play equity, to support kids’ socioemotional well-being and community health with benefits that extend far beyond childhood.
These grants continue the LA84 Foundation’s longstanding effort to support a balance of school- and community-based organizations that provide a wide range of sports-based youth development programs in communities across the region.
“We are committed to removing barriers for young people to have access to the benefits of sports participation, and by uplifting play equity supporting kids’ lifelong well-being,” said Renata Simril, President & CEO of the LA84 Foundation. “These grants showcase a wide range of communities as well as our support of soccer, as our data clearly indicates how important soccer is to our communities. We also work closely with school-based programs to transform the educational experience for students through sport.”
These grants are responsive to the evolving interests of youth in the area. While there are 22 types of sports activities supported in this grant cycle – including archery, lacrosse, squash, and equestrian activities – the LA84 Foundation is investing in the future of soccer in the region with the interest and participation rates of the sport continuing to rank among the most popular activities according to the results in the 2022 Los Angeles County Youth Sports Survey. These local soccer programs include:
The Boys & Girls Club of the Los Angeles Harbor, San Pedro received a $80,000 grant to support the launch of a pilot youth soccer league serving 600 youth in the city of Wilmington. The Wilmington Youth Soccer League will launch in September 2023 and will run from fall through spring. This program offers kids in Wilmington and the surrounding communities the opportunity to play soccer in a low-cost, organized year-round league.
The BGCLAH is the largest Boys & Girls Club organization in Los Angeles County, serving youth at 23 locations between the ages of ages 6-18. Their Club sites are based at 14 LAUSD campuses, and nine stand-alone facilities in the communities of San Pedro, Wilmington, Lomita, Harbor City, and Harbor Gateway. The organization focuses on creating an environment that encourages, enlightens and builds the self-esteem of children through character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; sports, fitness, and recreation.
The Cal South Soccer Foundation, Fullerton was awarded a $50,000 grant to support school-based soccer programs and coaching education in partnership with Cal South State Soccer Association. CSSF was established in 1999 to serve as a collaborative resource across Southern California to grow the game of soccer. Additionally, the CSSF will support field development through mini-pitch projects to create additional play spaces. All programs are provided at no cost to the school or families of any student participating in the after-school program. Funding will support the growth of the afterschool soccer program to two additional sites in San Bernardino serving 250 kids over two 12-week seasons during the 2023-24 school year.
The LA84 Foundation awarded $30,000 to Pure Game, Lake Forest to support its afterschool soccer programming in five cities in Orange County. Pure Game is committed to providing high-level soccer programming with care and detail to help support the development of the whole child. Pure Game’s mission is by 2026 to provide 100,000 youth with mentoring to help them discover pathways to success of their choosing. The LA84 Foundation grant will support the involvement of 600 youth.
On June 24, the LA84 Foundation and the Play Equity Fund are hosting Play Day, a national celebration of sport, play and movement held annually to advance the power of activity to joyfully connect us with each other, as well as promote physical and mental health.
ABOUT THE LA84 FOUNDATION
The LA84 Foundation is a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport and education about the role of sports in positive youth development. As a legacy of the 1984 Summer Olympics, the LA84 Foundation has supported thousands of organizations in Southern California through grant making, funding facilities and fields of play, while also training coaches, commissioning research, convening conferences and serving as a national thought leader on issues in youth sports. The LA84 Foundation levels the playing field to ensure all youth have access and opportunity, regardless of income, gender or ability, while elevating sports as an integral pathway to lifelong well-being. To learn more, visit www.la84.org and @LA84Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.