The LA City Council asked to approve an $18 million budget for Olympic-funded youth sports programs
Last week, the Los Angeles City Council was presented with a 2023-24 budget proposal for the multi-million dollar youth sports program, which will be operated with funds made available to the organizers of the LA 2028 Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). .
The youth sports program, which began in 2020 and is overseen by the LA Department of Recreation and Parks, will increase by $0.9 million in the next fiscal year for a total of $18.465 million if approved.
“The YSP [youth sports program] supports youth participation in sports by providing financial grants to limit participation costs to no more than $10 per participant in YSP activities for all youth in prequalified city recreation centers and for all eligible youth in non-prequalified city recreation centers” , so the 2023- 24 project plan said.
More than $1 million is earmarked for the USA Swim Team, an increase of $270,210 from last fiscal year. The proposal noted that the additional funding would be offset by lower funding for Aquatics ($181,249 less than last year) as well as the elimination of Tae Kwon Do ($887,529). Swimming is by far the biggest sport in terms of spending.
A large part of the budget increase will be allocated to adaptive sports programs. Funding for adaptive sports is expected to nearly double in the next fiscal year, with an additional $363,775 flowing into these programs. Adaptive swimming is said to get more than double the money (from $26,024 to $59,371). Two new sports, adaptive archery and wheelchair tennis, will be added ($363,775). But those costs are said to be offset by cuts to the US Center for SafeSport, whose budget is likely to be cut in half (from $500,000 to $250,000).
The other big additions in the next fiscal year include funding for kayaking ($214,705) and teqball ($209,000) as signature sports. Teqball was funded as a pilot program last year. New pilot sports next year include archery, karate, rock climbing, triathlon and fencing, totaling an additional $189,794 compared to last year’s pilot programs.
The 2023-24 budget also includes an additional $152,430 for recreational leagues and classes. The proposal will be considered by the City Council Ad Hoc Committee for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games before the Council votes on it.