Sports for kids across the county took a long pause during the coronavirus pandemic, but County Supervisor Jim Desmond is trying to rally support around a plan that will get kids back on the field with less financial strain on their parents.
Desmond was joined Wednesday by youth sports leaders representing Little League, track and field, and football calling for $10 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to go toward waived fees for recreational youth sports.
Aaron Majors with Skyline Youth Football and Spirit Association said he wouldn't be where he is today if it weren't for youth sports, and he doesn't want potential student-athletes to miss out on promising opportunities.
"And I said what's the problem?" Majors said, recalling a conversation he had with a kid. "'My grandma says I can play or my brother can play, and I don't want to play if my birther cant play.' And immediately I told him, don't worry about it we'll figure out way for you to play."
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Elizabeth Tate, USA Track and Field Youth Committee Vice-Chair, said communities run the risk of losing out on sports if they can't revive youth sports participation post-pandemic.
"If we begin to quietly suppress our kids from participating because we don't have access to track and field and funds, or sponsor some of these kids to participate, we're slowly going to kill off our own sport," Tate said.
The Board of Supervisors will vote on the proposal next Tuesday. The proposal will have to compete with other plans for federal relief funds pitched by supervisors, like a plan to waive event fees, a plan to subsidize restaurant bills to encourage customers to eat out, or proposals centered on public health or essential workers.
In March, San Diego County put out a call to residents to participate in the decision making regarding $647 million headed the county's way.