LeagueApps-Led Coalition Brings a Bill to Congress to Increase Youth Sports Access Nationally
By Melissa Wickes
August 2, 2022
The PLAYS Act in Youth Sports is a bill to establish a $75 million annual grant program to support nonprofit organizations working to improve positive health and youth development through youth sports and participation—and LeagueApps is bringing it to Congress.
In 2020, LeagueApps co-founded the PLAY Sports Coalition (PLAYS) to ensure youth sports programs thrive as part of a vital movement to help repair a society that needs community, connectivity, and joy.
Three LeagueApps team members have led the team—Jeremy Goldberg, president of LeagueApps; Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, vice president of community and impact at LeagueApps; and Jared Cooper, director of social impact.
The three of them have been working with lawmakers in New York, Ohio, and Massachusetts to increase state access to youth sports—and now they’ve set their sights at the federal level, working with Congressman Colin Allred to introduce the PLAYS Act in Youth Sports.
Working with Congressman Allred, along with leaders at the state level, PLAYS has been a driving force in garnering support for youth sports and increasing access for all who want to play, especially those in underserved populations.
“Now is the time to take action for at-risk communities across the country,” says Benita. “Sports is a gift that every child and every community deserves, and important legislation like this enables us to deliver that to the communities and families that need it most.”
The Bill will need to be voted on in Congress—and a similar Bill will need to be introduced in the Senate. If they are both approved, they will go to the President to be signed. Once that happens, the funding will provide grants to organizations across the country that work to improve the health and positive development through youth sports participation.
The PLAYS Act in Youth Sports bill is a major development in pursuit of the primary goal to ensure young people—particularly those in underserved communities—have access to sports in a safe environment and receive the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive benefits organized sports provides.
Under Jeremy, Benita, and Jared’s leadership, PLAYS has grown to more than 4,000 members—including Reigning Champs, Triple Crown Sports, Augusta, YMCA, and LA84 Foundation. They have also unlocked $22.4MM in funds for youth sports nonprofits in underserved communities at the state level.
“If you played sports, or have kids who play sports, you know how transformative that experience can be. It’s not right that some kids are left on the sidelines and never have the chance to experience sports, ” says Jeremy Goldberg. “It’s not just their loss, but it’s all of us that lose when kids can’t realize their full potential. The PLAYS Act in Youth Sports bill will deliver critical support to the families that need it most at such an important moment.”
For more information on the status of the PLAYS Act and to read the full bill, click here.