Richmond, VA (September 16, 2020) – A new study conducted by the University of Wisconsin suggests that the incidence of reported COVID-19 cases among youth soccer players is not increased compared to the national pediatric case rate. Dr. Drew Watson, a physician at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and the Chief Medical Advisor of the Elite Clubs National League, worked with the league’s clubs to collect data for the study. Ultimately, data was received from more than 120 clubs from 34 states, representing more than 90,000 youth soccer athletes in various stages of training and competition throughout the country.
ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 15, 2020—Today the Montgomery County Council unanimously voted on separate special appropriations totaling $1,550,000 to support the Youth Sports Initiative. Youth sports have significant social and wellness benefits to participants. In addition to promoting mental and physical health and activity, youth sports help develop confidence, keep youth engaged in productive activities, and help to teach team building and goal setting objectives. The special appropriations will support Montgomery County Recreation and the Office of Community Use of Public Facilities and community-based organizations to help address the disparities faced in youth sports participation among underserved youth and families with low-incomes throughout the County.
One special appropriation will provide $500,000 in grant funding along with $50,000 to administer the initiative to the Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth, and Families. The funds will be used for operating expenses to deliver sports programming to youth who are vulnerable or are from families with low-incomes through organizations based in Montgomery County. Each grant award will be capped at $15,000.
Montgomery Recreation will receive a special appropriation of $500,000 to provide affordable and universal youth sports leagues and activities targeting underserved communities in the County. Moreover, $500,000 will be appropriated to the Office of Community Use of Public Facilities (CUPF) to be disseminated through a Facility Fee Assistance Program that will reduce fees for field and building use for youth sports programs that are primarily providing free or nominal fee programs to young people who are vulnerable.
“Growing up, sports played a huge role in my development and has helped me pilot life transitions with confidence. As a parent, and chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, I want our youth in Montgomery County to experience the same positive impact that I did,” said Councilmember Gabe Albornoz. “This is why I requested an internal analysis from the Office of Legislative Oversight on youth sports participation in Montgomery County to help determine how we can bridge the disparity gap among our most underserved youth. This legislative action is only the beginning. It is our hope that we will continue to create opportunities for our youth to excel, despite their socioeconomic status.”
“Ensuring that all youth have access to the benefits of recreational sports is the goal of this appropriation,” said Councilmember Craig Rice, who chairs the Council’s Education Committee. “Disparities existed before Covid-19 and have now been exacerbated due to the pandemic. Through both direct funding and reduced facility fees, we can assist our youth sports organizations while also encouraging our youth to stay physically and mentally fit.”
On July 29 the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, Education and Culture Committee and Health and Human Services Committee met jointly and were briefed on Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) Report 2020-4: Youth Sports in Montgomery County. The report, which was requested by Councilmember Albornoz and supported by the full Council, reviews national research on youth sports and examines the youth sports landscape in Montgomery County. OLO found that while some affordable and recreational youth sports programs exist, many youth sports programs are not well-aligned with the needs of many families.
Some of the issues that OLO discussed during the meeting included identifying ways to support affordable sports programs and encourage free play at public athletic facilities, options to promote collaboration and address silos in providing youth sports, and ways to promote affordable and recreational youth sports programs in the County, such as expanding the public provision of youth sports.
According to the Aspen Institute’s Project Play, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on youth sports has been profound and concerns exist about the future of the sector, particularly with respect to access for children from families with low-incomes. Youth sports organizations are experiencing severe revenue losses due to the pandemic. In the initial weeks of the pandemic, an informal poll of more than 1,000 Project Play webinar participants from youth sports organizations showed that over half of respondents anticipated at least a 50 percent drop in revenue in the next year. Moreover, many parents are concerned about sending their children back to sports due to fears of illness.
The Sports Innovation Institute at IUPUI, a partnership between Indiana and Purdue Universities in Indianapolis, and Grand Park Sports Campus (Westfield, Ind.) collaborated to better understand how COVID-related adaptations are perceived by parents, athletes, coaches, officials, and administrators. The results provide youth sports facilities and event operators with data on how specific adaptions are received by these stakeholders who are looking to return to youth sports in a timely, but safe manner.
The outcome of the study was published in the Sports Innovation Journal
May 18, 2020
With the future of youth sports in the US uncertain, Representative Max Rose (D-NY) has stepped into the ring as a powerful ally to the PLAY Sports mission and advocate for youth athletes and their families. Today, Rep. Rose is introducing the groundbreaking COVID-19 Youth Sports and Working Families Relief Act.
For the PLAY Sports Coalition this Relief Act represents the next major step forward towards ensuring economic relief and ultimately the full recovery of the youth sports experience for millions of organizers, coaches, volunteers, young athletes, and families. Supporting our allies in this fight is critical which is why we’ve provided a three-pronged action plan below for members of our coalition:
May 18, 2020
Welcome to the Return to Recreational and Travel Youth Sports During COVID-19 Survey
You are invited to participate in an online survey that asks your opinions on modifications that youth and recreational sports facilities and events are considering in the wake of COVID-19. The results of the study will be used by event and venue operators to prioritize adaptations to keep guests and athletes safe.
The survey should take you no more than 10 minutes to complete.
The study is being conducted by David Pierce, PhD in the Sports Innovation Institute at IUPUI, in conjunction with Grand Park Sports Campus (Westfield, IN).
April 28, 2020
The World Health Organization and US Olympic and Paralympic Committee release separate documents for sports organizations for risk assessments, considerations, and recommendations for sporting events post COVID-19 until vaccines are developed.
1) USOC Post COVID-19 Sports Event Planning Considerations
2) W.H.O. Guidelines and Recommendations Post COVID-19 Mass Gatherings - Sports
3) W.H.O. Post COVID-19 Risk Assessment Sports Addendum
April 22, 2020
Evolving has become the name of the game during the coronavirus pandemic. Strategies that once seemed like the only way to accomplish a goal now may look obsolete.
This is true within youth sports, as highlighted below by the Aspen Institute’s Project Play.
There are cutthroat soccer club rivals uniting to keep kids playing. There are college baseball players coaching kids online. There’s a nonprofit volunteer coaching service shifting to feeding families.
In this new world, evolution is necessary to survive and provide the youth sports opportunities that kids need.
April 14, 2020 3:00PM EST
Join longtime soccer broadcaster and host of the United Soccer Coaches Podcast, Dean Linke, as he talks with coaches and industry professionals about the biggest challenges facing coaches and clubs during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can view the current schedule and register for the upcoming webinars below.
April 11, 2020 4:00PM EST
Thank you for your support in driving awareness for #WeKeepPlaying Live, an important conversation between some of the biggest athletes and leaders in women’s sports.
The April 11 event, which will be moderated by journalist Cari Champion, will include some of
the most renowned women athletes and coaches speaking to young athletes about the
importance of staying healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally during this challenging
April 7 2020
US Youth Soccer released the attached statement as an update to the COVID-19 pandemic as it related to youth soccer, USYS programs and recommendations to member clubs.
April 9, 2020
For those of you that run tournaments in Maryland you are part of the Maryland Tourism Industry. The MD Secretary of Commerce is holding a call tomorrow to talk about plans to help the tourism industry to get back on its feet when we can return to normal life.
April 7, 2020
Article talking about the shift to remote programming for kids in the DC area, including mentions of DMV UNITED.
April 3, 2020
For almost as long as she’s been in the United States, Miracle has had soccer.
The field in Clarkston, Georgia, where she used to play isn’t much. There are big patches of hard, dry dirt and thin, brown grass, a wooden picket fence with slats that have been knocked out by errant soccer balls.
April 3, 2020
Over 60 youth soccer clubs, leagues and facilities based in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. have vowed to eliminate competition and focus on cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 2, 2020
FC Frederick issued the attached statement to their club members
April 2, 2020
Shenandoah FC Elite issued the attached statement to their club members
April 2, 2020
Sports Events and Tourism Association added the DMV UNITED Press Release to their national weekly newsletter which is distributed to Sports Commissions, CVBs, National Governing Bodies, Event Rights Holders, and sports industry suppliers
April 2, 2020
Alexandria Soccer Association issued the attached statement to their club members
April 2, 2020
EDP released a statement that with proposed start dates for their league based on estimated return to play dates. These include scenarios that include league play through early to late summer in the various options.
THURSDAY APRIL 2ND, 11:30AM
MSYSA and the Board of Directors will bring together:
ALAN LYDIATE : MSYSA Director of Coaching
JIM KUNTZ : East Regional Rep to USYSA Board of Directors and
SKIP GILBERT : CEO of US Youth Soccer
USYS is cancelling the 2020 Presidents Cup, our 2020 National Championships and all of the regional competitions leading up to those two events.
Visit Montgomery adds a blog post to disseminate information about the formation of DMV United to the Community
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, area soccer clubs and organizations have joined to form DMV UNITED. The group consists of clubs large and small that provide soccer programming, coaching, recreational leagues and travel programs for the area’s youth.
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