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Every Kid Sports: Funding Youth Sports

Every Kid Sports: Funding Youth Sports
Published: 2020-12-04

During this time of the pandemic, children are struggling. They want to be with their friends. They want to play and participate in sports. Sports provides so many positive benefits and outcomes. It provides positive social connections with coaches and peers and an increase in self-esteem. It increases emotional and mental well-being and provides an improvement in physical development. Further, it decreases the likelihood of risky behaviors such as substance abuse and truancy. At Every Kid Sports, we believe every kid deserves the chance to play sports. We provide funding to children age 4-18 years from low-income families to pay sports registration fees.

The Need for Funding

We recognize that cost is the number one barrier to sports for low-income families. Only 22.7 percent of kids from households with incomes under $25,000 participate in sports versus 44.3 percent of kids from households with incomes over $100,0001. The vast majority of kids (68%) from household incomes under $25,000 are from Black and Brown communities2. Girls from low-income families have lower rates of sport participation than boys. By age 13 years, 70 percent of children have dropped out of sports3.

The pandemic has created more inequities and problems. Recently, three in ten children reported no interest in returning to the sport they played before the pandemic4. A recent study by the University of Wisconsin showed a 50 percent decrease in physical activity across all sports. And 65 percent of adolescents surveyed report mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety and 25 percent reported moderate to severe anxiety. The need to provide funding to low-income children is greater than ever.

Every Kid Sports Pass

We have over a decade of access and a proven process for reaching families, verifying needs, and supporting those kids most in need of assistance. We have a confidential and convenient online application process. Children 4-18 years of age, who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch, SNAP, WIC, Foster Care, and ACA Insurance Programs qualify. Eligible families can receive up to $150 per child, four times a year, to ensure year-round participation with Every Kid Sports Pass. Scholarships are granted quickly within 7-14 days. We provide scholarships to qualified low-income families regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, or physical or intellectual disability.

Sports Sampling

We encourage and support sports sampling. Children learn best and develop athletic skills when they participate in a variety of sports. Sports sampling can increase physical capacity and motor skill development. And it can increase the ability to transfer motor and psychological skills to other sports. One of the benefits of kids participating in a variety of sports from age 6-14 years is that it develops physical literacy. Simply, it is the ability to move with competence and confidence in a variety of sports and physical activities. If kids develop a love of sport and competence across several sports, they are more likely to participate in sports and physical activity as an adult.

Kid’s Choice

We believe it is important for a child to choose the sport in which they want to participate. Kids have chosen over 72 different sports from team sports of soccer, basketball, football, baseball, cheerleading, to individual sports of martial arts, rock climbing, dance, cross country running, and skiing. When kids choose their sport, they are more likely to develop a love of that sport and fully participate in that sport.

Every Kid Sports Pass is currently in six states including Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and the city of Phoenix, Arizona. We anticipate launching our Every Kid Sports Pass across all 50 states in August of 2021.

To learn more about Every Kid Sports and our Pass please visit: everykidsports.org 

Footnotes

  1. 2020 State of Play Report, Project Play, Aspen Institute
  2. S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey
  3. 2020 State of Play Report, Project Play, Aspen Institute
  4. 2020 Project Play and Utah State University study

     

    Tim Gibbons

    With careers as a coach, sport physiologist, and Executive Director of a sports foundation Tim’s worked with athletes of all ages and abilities from youth, high school, college, Olympians, and Masters (age 30-90 years). He spent five years working in Sport Science at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee as a sport physiologist and researched the processes and systems required for attaining sustained competitive excellence in endurance sport. He currently is the Development Director for Every Kid Sports located in Bend, Oregon