The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games LA 2028 has announced it will invest USD 9.6 million in the 2021-2022 schoolyear to fund youth sport across Los Angeles, helping bring children back to sport and fitness as the community moves forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The USD 9.6 million investment is part of an earlier agreement between LA 2028 and the IOC that USD 160 million would be invested to make sport more accessible to kids across Los Angeles ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028. It is the single largest commitment for youth sport development ever in California.
“There’s never been a more important time to get kids back to sports,” said LA28 Chief Athlete Officer and five-time Olympic medallist Janet Evans. “After an incredibly trying 15 months, it’s time to get out there and play. Fitness and competition give kids opportunities to connect with friends and improve their physical and mental health. We couldn’t be more excited to get kids back on the field and in the gym experiencing the joy of sport.”
As part of the investment, LA28 has granted USD 9.6 million to LA’s Department of Recreation and Parks to subsidise participation fees for leagues, classes and clinics covering sports ranging from tennis, golf and basketball to soccer, judo and teqball for kids aged 18 and under.
The grant is dedicated to supporting high-quality sport programming in well-maintained, safe environments with trained coaches at more than 123 recreation centres and sports facilities across Los Angeles through the spring 2022 season, emphasising support in areas that serve low-income neighbourhoods.
“One of the key objectives of the Olympic and Paralympic Games LA28 is to use the power of sport to boost the well-being, health and education of young people, regardless of their economic background, gender or ability,” said LA28 Coordination Commission Chair Nicole Hoevertsz, who competed in synchronised swimming for Aruba at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984.
“This ambition is particularly important today, as we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. When Los Angeles was chosen to host the Games, the International Olympic Committee and LA28 agreed that up to USD 160 million would be invested in local youth sport leading up to the Games, and today’s announcement is a major step towards achieving this goal. We are excited to help create the right conditions for kids across Los Angeles to participate in, and grow through, sport.”
All programmes and activities will follow Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidance.
LA28 will mark Los Angeles’ third time hosting the Olympic Games – which it previously hosted in 1984 and 1932 – and first time hosting the Paralympic Games. Los Angeles is expected to host more than 15,000 athletes in 2028 as it welcomes Paralympians and Olympians from around the world to compete on the biggest stage in sport.
The Olympic and Paralympic Games LA28 will be a platform for inclusion and creativity for athletes and fans around the world, harnessing Los Angeles’ diversity, optimism and youthful energy. The LA28 Games will use existing world-class stadiums and sports venues across the Los Angeles region, ensuring a sustainable and economically responsible event.
The LA28 Games are independently operated by a privately funded, non-profit organisation with revenue from corporate partners, licensing agreements, and hospitality and ticketing programmes, and a significant contribution from the International Olympic Committee.