Los Angeles 2028 pledges $160 million investment into youth sport – Insidethegames.biz

Los Angeles 2028 is set to be the third time the city has hosted the Olympic Games, after the 1932 and 1984 editions ©Getty Images

Los Angeles 2028 has pledged to invest $160 million (£115 million/€136 million) into grassroots sports across the city.

The initiative, supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is to ensure sport is more accessible than ever for Angeleno children prior to the Games.

“Sport has the power to transcend,” said LA28 chief athlete officer Janet Evans.

“There’s no question sport changed the trajectory of my life, but you don’t have to compete on an international stage to recognise the social, emotional and physical benefits sport gives us, teaching lessons in teamwork, competition and perseverance.

“One of the greatest legacies the Games can provide is sharing the power of sport across local communities.”

The funding will be primarily aimed at underprivileged kids in disadvantaged communities.

Communal sports are an iconic feature of Los Angeles' Venice Beach but the funding will allow many more facilities to be built and renovated ©Getty Images
Communal sports are an iconic feature of Los Angeles’ Venice Beach but the funding will allow many more facilities to be built and renovated ©Getty Images

The money has been granted to the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to subsidise participation fees for leagues, classes and clinics ranging from tennis, golf and basketball to soccer, judo and teqball for people aged 18 and under.

The grant is dedicated to supporting quality sport programming in well-maintained, safe environments with trained coaches at more than 123 recreation centres and sport 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 LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games is to use the power of sport to boost the wellbeing, health and education of young people, regardless of their economic background, gender or ability,” said Los Angeles 2028 IOC Coordination Commission chair Nicole Hoevertsz.

“This ambition is particularly important today, as we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to help create the right conditions for kids across Los Angeles to participate in and grow through sport.”

In 2018 and 2019, LA28 began its investment with two SwimLA pilot programmes.