Tonight Council President Sabina Matos (Ward 15) and President Pro Tempore Michael Correia’s (Ward 6) amendment to the Code of Ordinances that creates a $40K fund specifically for the support of Providence youth sports programs was passed for the second and final time.
The fund will support funding for equipment, costs associated with travel for sports competitions, and participating in sports-related activities. These funds are in addition to other funding that youth sports organizations may already receive from the City. Any youth sports group that applies for and is granted monies will have to refrain from the practice of “canning” (which is when young people raise money by standing on the corner at a stop sign or redlight and ask drivers to donate monies to their group).
“As a mother seeing young athletes trying to raise money while standing on our busy streets, and looking for donations from drivers at stop signs or red lights causes me great concern,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos. “These young athletes are risking their personal safety to get the funds they need to support their programs. I am glad that we have finally brought this Fund to fruition.”
The Youth Sports Fund & Grant Program will be held in a separate permanent fund of the city and will be held in trust by the City Treasurer. The fund will be administered by the City’s Recreational Advisory Board who will grant funding to Providence-based local non-profit youth sports organizations. The fund will be seeded with $40K annually through an appropriation from the City’s budget.
City Council President Pro Tempore Michael Correia added, “The Council President and I introduced this last November, and I am thrilled that we will now have this fund in place for our City’s young athletes. It is a highlight of my time on the Council that we have found a way to support our local non-profit youth sports programs that do so much for our community and our young people. This fund will provide access to youth sports clubs in every neighborhood of our city, and it will go a long way to ensuring that our young athletes are spending time practicing and not having to raise money.”
The fund will be set-up by the City Treasurer who will work with the Recreational Advisory Board to help implement a grant submission application process.