Park and recreation professionals and their agencies are major providers of both organized and unorganized sports program facilities across the nation. They offer safe spaces where kids can play together, build new relationships and learn about teamwork. They also serve all community members, including youth from under-resourced neighborhoods and/or households that cannot afford participation on other sports teams.
Equity is at the heart of access to youth sports. Studies demonstrate that gender, household formation and income correlate with children’s engagement with organized sports, what sports they may play and how long they engage in those activities. Unfortunately, there are significant disparities in who has access to youth sports opportunities.
The Youth Sports at Park and Recreation Agencies report explores youth sports offerings, partnerships, fees and registration, and equitable access. The report also takes a look at the impact of COVID-19 on youth sports during the summer and fall of 2020.
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- Five in six park and recreation agencies work with partners to deliver youth sports activities
- Eighty-six percent of park and recreation professionals agree that they and their peers contribute to a fair and just future for youth sports by identifying inequities in access to organized sports offerings
- Ninety-two percent of park and recreation agencies charge registration fees for all of their youth sports offerings
- Two in three agencies offer reduced or discounted fees for lower income residents
- Ninety percent of park and recreation professionals report that the pandemic negatively impacts their agencies’ youth sports programming during the summer and fall of 2020