Congressman Max Rose (D-NY) has introduced the COVID-19 Youth Sports and Working Families Relief Act (H.R.6912) to Congress, legislation that addresses the mission of the Play Sports Coalition to ensure the institutions connected to youth and local sports survive and thrive coming out of this pandemic.
“Little league, youth soccer, dance and all our youth sports organizations and activities are so much more than a chance for our kids to Play—they serve as foundations to our community,” said Congressman Rose. “But unfortunately like every other corner of our society, these organizations and the families that support them have been hit incredibly hard by the coronavirus. They need our help and I’m proud to fight to get them the relief they so desperately need.”
The COVID-19 Youth Sports and Working Families Relief Act addresses both pillars of the infrastructure that makes youth sports accessible to all—organizational survival, particularly for sports-based youth development programs, and working American families support, especially those impacted by the pandemic with employment loss. It calls for four key actions to achieve this:
- Authorize a relief fund for youth sports providers, programs, and organizations currently affected by the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to include expenses for youth physical activities, including organized individual and team sports, fitness and exercise, and other recreational activities;
- Ensure that expenses related to youth physical activities are eligible to be paid for with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs); and
- Increase the maximum contribution per household for Dependent Care FSAs from $5,000 to $10,000
In a recent national poll conducted by Morning Consult, 67 percent of parents supported federal funding that would help youth sports programs deal with the economic impact of COVID-19. Also, the poll found that one out of every two youth sports parents were concerned that their child’s youth sports program could go out of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic and 56 percent were more likely to enroll or keep a child in youth sports program if the costs were partially subsidized by the government.
Play Sports Coalition said the COVID-19 economic devastation forced a sudden pause in Play and the industry immediately came together through the Play Sports Coalition’s national advocacy movement—#Unite2Play—in seeking immediate action to save volunteer-driven organizations, youth sports infrastructure and jobs. Today, that movement has grown into more than 3,000 youth sports leaders representing every state and millions of young athletes, working families, volunteers and coaches.
This bill sponsored by Congressman Rose is a major development in pursuit of the Play Sports Coalition’s core goal to ensure young people have access to sports in a safe environment and receive the physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits organized sports provides. It includes the original economic relief fund asked for by the Coalition and also provides financial support for working families to encourage participation.
The bill is currently co-sponsored by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and further support is being solicited. The bill will now need to be approved by Congress and by the President before it can become law.
Play Sports Coalition is led by a volunteer steering committee consisting of representatives across the youth sports industry, including Jon Butler (Pop Warner), Jeremy Goldberg (LeagueApps), Keri King (Triple Crown Sports), Benita Fitzgerald Mosley (Olympic Gold Medalist, CEO & Sports Strategist), Wayne B. Moss (National Council of Youth Sports), and Luke Zaientz (Reigning Champs). Active Policy Solutions, led by Terri Lakowski, is serving as a special advisor to the Coalition and its Steering Committee.
Play Sports Coalition Steering Committee Quotes On the COVID-19 Youth Sports and Working Families Act:
“We certainly appreciate Congressman Rose’s support for our effort to save the youth sports organizations that do so much good for the health and welfare of our young people.” —Jon Butler, Executive Director, Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.
“There’s a critical need to ensure youth sports organizations first survive, and then thrive in delivering amazing sports experiences for all. Congressman Rose’s bill captures both strategies, with a focus on supporting working families and local communities and a recognition that youth and local sports can lead our comeback from this pandemic.” —Jeremy Goldberg, President of LeagueApps
“This development with Congressman Rose supercharges the Play Sports Coalition objectives. I’m delighted to see the support that’s burgeoning in congress to help families achieve more through sports.” —Keri King, CEO of Triple Crown Sports
“Youth sports are integral to the fabric of American life and provide valuable physical, social and emotional benefits for kids across the country. The Play Sports Coalition is thrilled to support Congressman Rose’s bill, which includes much-needed relief for youth sports organizations and the children and families who depend on them.” —Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Olympic Gold Medalist
“NCYS and the Play Sports Coalition are thrilled to support Rep. Max Rose’s bill. Families have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort will provide needed assistance to families and will help the youth sports sector, which has been shuttered and economically distressed, provide opportunities for young people to Play.” —Wayne B. Moss, Executive Director, National Council for Youth Sports
“Reigning Champs believes sports have the power to transform lives. We are grateful for Congressman Rose’s support as we work to protect the future of youth sports and ensure that all athletes have the opportunity to play.” —Luke Zaientz, CEO of Reigning Champs
Join the Coalition and #Unite2Play by visiting the Take Action Center to contact local Congressional representatives and encourage them to support the COVID-19 Youth Sports and Working Families Act. More information is available at Playsportscoalition.org.