Fresno youth are getting get a deep discount to play in city-run sports programs.
A new program will reduce the fee from $75 per child per sport to $20, which will be “opening the door of athletics to so many children who may have otherwise been unable to participate,” said Fresno City Council President Tyler Maxwell, who proposed the idea.
Basketball, soccer, flag football, t-ball, and fitness camps for children 3-15 are covered by the discount, which is for families at or below 150% of the federal poverty line.
Childhood experiences shouldn’t be dictated by household income. Today I am proud to announce the launch of our Youth Sports Fee Waiver Program. This initiative will ensure our children can stay active in city-sponsored recreational leagues, no matter their home situation. pic.twitter.com/1G2grz4Je5
— Tyler Maxwell (@Maxwell4Fresno) January 25, 2023
Maxwell already placed the $300,000 program in last year’s budget. No other vote is required to implement the discounts.
“The best investment a city can make is an investment into the children of this city, and more importantly, I believe that the opportunities afforded to Fresno children should not be dictated by household income,” Maxwell said.
Funding From City Parks Sales Tax
The money, from Measure P sales tax funds, will also include a duffel bag with sports clothes and equipment.
While Maxwell did not have an exact answer on how many children can take advantage, he said it’s definitely in the hundreds. With $300,000 in the budget and a $55 discount (plus equipment), more than 3,000 to 4,000 can be served.
Mayor Jerry Dyer called it a “great day.”
“Access to new adventures and experiences that are free or low cost for our youth is a priority for me and for my administration,” Dyer said.
Dyer touted other programs to help youth such as free summer camps, and tickets to the zoo and Fresno State football games.
Who is Eligible?
Martha Chavez looks forward to the program. Her daughter Olivia played soccer last year.
“This is going to also benefit a lot of our families because a lot of times our kids are not aware of different programs or families sometimes just because they don’t qualify or just because they made a little bit more over, they feel like they can afford a sport. I only have one child, so I can only imagine the burden on families that have multiple kids,” Chavez said.
Now accepting applications for the Youth Fee Waiver Program! ✍️
The fee waiver is offered to City of Fresno residents who are income eligible; ages 3-15. 🏀🏀🏀 pic.twitter.com/qlebyJntSe
— City of Fresno (@CityofFresno) January 25, 2023
Eligibility is based on household income, at or below 150% of the federal poverty line.
Families can also qualify if they are enrolled in another need-based program such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Foster Youth, CalWORKs, EBT, SNAP, WIC, PG&E’s CARE or FERA program, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Applications can be submitted online, or at the Dicky Youth Community Center, 1515 E. Divisadero St.