LA84 Foundation Awards More Than $2 Million in Grants to Youth Sports Programs in Southern California

LOS ANGELES – Today, the LA84 Foundation announces more than $2 million in grants to Southern California school-based and community youth sports organizations for its Spring grant cycle, serving over 57,000 youth in over twenty-one sports across seven counties. This grant docket consists of a mix of organizations with a range of programs that support sports-based youth development efforts. The LA84 Foundation’s #PlayForAll movement aims to get every child life ready through sports, regardless of zip code.

Many of today’s grants reflect the LA84 Foundation’s commitment to dealing with a crisis that is hiding in plain sight – that not all kids have equal access to sport and structured play.

“We are excited about the organizations we were able to support with this round of funding,” said Renata Simril, LA84 Foundation President & CEO. “But there are still many more organizations who need resources in our effort to provide all kids who so choose, with the opportunity to engage in sport and structured play.”

The LA84 Foundation’s commitment to closing the play equity gap is illustrated in the breadth and range of the grants announced today. Funds are going to school-based programs to support kids in the places where they spend most of their time; to significant commitments in the Inland Empire; and to contribute in meaningful ways to support the expansion of sports opportunities for young people with physical disabilities.

So, how are LA84’s grantees supporting Southern California communities?

For The First Tee of the Inland Empire, a $56,000 grant will fund an afterschool golf program (The First Tee DRIVE) at twenty-one schools in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. All youth are able to participate in this program at no cost to them and have access to all necessary equipment needed to participate. The First Tee DRIVE afterschool program is designed to introduce kids to golf and The First Tee’s Nine Core Values – respect, courtesy, responsibility, honesty, sportsmanship, judgement, perseverance, and integrity.  This afterschool program is a fun, engaging opportunity for young people and is designed to develop rewarding, inspiring values for everyone who participates.

A $49,000 grant will help Challenged Athletes, Inc., fund their Challenged Athletes Foundation High School Sports Initiative (CAF HSSI). CAF HSSI aims to make athletic opportunities more available and accessible to youth with permanent physical disabilities so they can participate in high school sports like every other kid their age. The program paves the way for track and field team inclusion and the true celebration of an even playing field.

Over at Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI) a $45,000 grant will help to fund their sports program called Youth and Leaders Living Actively (YALLA).  BLCI’s mission focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty through educational achievement.  Since 1996, they have prepared underserved students to be the first in their families to enroll and succeed in college through afterschool programs that begin in third grade. The year-round program is offered at two elementary schools and one middle school in the Cajon Valley Union School District. Youth compete in the El Cajon Recreation Youth Soccer League as well as the Cal South Soccer League, in addition to scrimmages.  BLCI also offers street soccer open to the community on Sundays.

For Urban Surf 4 Kids (US4K), a $13,000 grant will help provide some of the most vulnerable youth in San Diego County with therapeutic surfing opportunities.  The California Department of Education reports that over 70% of the youth in the Cajon Valley Union School District are either in foster care or are eligible to receive free / reduced price meals, suggesting the majority of youth attending these schools come from families in need. Nearly 100% volunteer driven, US4K’s leadership and coaches are committed to creating a transformative experience for these youth, aligning commitment to LA84’s goal of play equity. US4K works closely with the city of San Diego and local police departments to help connect the youth to their community and nurture a positive relationship with law enforcement, all while teaching kids to surf.

Additionally, the following organizations also received grants from the LA84 Foundation:

Organization Sport Counties Served
A World Fit For Kids Handball Los Angeles
Angel City Alliance Adaptive Sports Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange
Barrio Logan College Institute Soccer San Diego
Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills Flag Football, Basketball, Soccer Los Angeles
Boys & Girls Club of Whittier Flag Football, Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball Los Angeles
The First Tee of the Inland Empire Golf Riverside, San Bernardino
California Youth Soccer Association – South Soccer Riverside, Santa Barbara, Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Diego
Catholic Charities of Los Angeles Soccer, Softball Los Angeles
Challenged Athletes, Inc. Adaptive Sports San Diego
Friends of the Expo Center Swimming Los Angeles
LA’s Best Flag Football, Basketball, Softball, Soccer, Dance & Drill Los Angeles
LAUSD/Beyon the Bell Branch Basketball, Football, Soccer, Volleyball Los Angeles
LTSC Community Development Corporation Basketball, Volleyball, Martial Arts Los Angeles
Morongo Educational Foundation Soccer, Track & Field San Bernardino
Playworks Basketball, Soccer Los Angeles, Orange
Pure Game Soccer Orange
San Diego Canoe & Kayak Team Canoeing, Kayaking San Diego
Seneca Family of Agencies Equine Therapy Orange
Students Run America Running Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino
The Science of Sport Baseball Los Angeles
Urban Surf 4 Kids Surfing San Diego
Young Men’s Christian Association of Greater Long Beach Archery, Golf, Kayaking, Skateboarding, Skiing, Surfing, & others Los Angeles

About the LA84 Foundation

The LA84 Foundation is a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs and public education about the role of sports in positive youth development. The foundation, with 30 years of on-the-ground experience, has supported thousands of Southern California youth sports organizations through grant making, while also training coaches, commissioning research, convening conferences and acting as a national thought leader on important youth sports issues. LA84 levels the playing field to ensure play equity so that sport is accessible to all children, while elevating the field of youth sports as an integral pathway to lifelong well-being. To learn more and join the #PlayForAll movement, visit www.la84.org and @LA84Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.

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Alyssa Hankins

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alyssah@bzapr.com 

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