Youth Sports Benefiting From New City Fund

The city is helping several local youth sports leagues through a fund the City Council established last year.

Council President Leo Robinson has been a strong proponent for increasing funding to local athletic leagues in hopes of increasing youth sports participation in the city.

In addition to the $50,000 fund that was established by the council, Robinson has noted that money coming into the city from developers from the recently approved linkage fees ordinance may be earmarked for youth sports.

At last week’s City Council meeting, District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero requested an update on how the money in the youth sports fund has been allocated thus far, and if any remaining funds roll over from year to year.

City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher noted that the city puts $50,000 into the fund per year, with any unused funds going into the city’s general free cash if it is not used.

“The Chelsea Youth Sports Fund was established in the latter part of FY2022 funded by $50,000 from the City Council,” stated Interim City Manager Ned Keefe. “The goal of the fund is to increase participation by Chelsea Youth (ages 3-21) across a wide range of sports activities, and provides funding to sports organizations to defray the cost of athletic expenses (transportation, uniforms, equipment, facility fees, etc.) based upon the level of participation in the league.”

The Recreation and Cultural Affairs department has been actively promoting the fund to promote the expansion of the existing sports leagues and encourage the formation of new sports leagues.

“Due to the newness of the fund, most leagues are still in the process of building the league roster participation to establish the funding level,” stated Keefe.

Those funding requests that are currently in process include $6,000 for Matias Soccer School, $6,000 for Chelsea Bears football league, and $4,000 for Chelsea Youth Basketball League.

“The Fund is moving forward to award these funds to those completed applications, and is engaged with four additional league operators to establish their interest and eligibility,” according to Keefe.

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