Prince George's County officials push for youth sports division, centralizing youth sports


    (Photo: ABC7)

    When it comes to youth sports in Prince George's County, parents like Justin Ross say there are just too many individuals with a grip on the facilities and resources.

    "Sometimes when something is everybody's job, it's nobody's job," said Ross.

    Ross is president of Prince George's Pride Lacrosse and he served as chairman of the Youth Sports Transition Committee.

    He says the burden of running youth sports in Prince George's County falls on far too many people.

    "We're asking the moms and dads who run the Boys & Girls Clubs and AAU teams to do too much," he said. "There's a better way to marshal resources and be organized."

    That's why County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is pushing House Bill 678 that would centralize youth sports, creating a one stop shop under the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

    "We want to make sure that we have a system, a clearinghouse where all of these fields and all of the centers will be managed by one entitity," said Alsobrooks. "We will now make sure that the technology and the transparency happens in a fair way."

    She said often teams have to know the individuals with power over the facilities to gain access. She says that needs to stop.

    The change was included in the fiscal year 2020 budget Thursday. Alsobrooks says it's part of the education agenda.

    "This is part of the education agenda because we realize we're not only responsible for developing our students academically, but emotionally, and physically," she said.

    The County Executive says the measure would provide a cost savings for taxpayers by combining resources with the school system.

    "We need to make this easier for parents," said Ross. "We need to get (parents) the information. We need to make it clear what the cost is, and if they can't afford it we need to have a program where their kids can still play."

    Ross and Alsobrooks testified Thursday at an Environment and Transportation Committee hearing in Annapolis. The committee will now vote on the bill and determine if it goes to the senate.

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