The City Council’s adoption of the AARP Livable Community Action Plan in May 2023 marked a significant step towards enhancing community engagement and well-being. Aligned with the City’s five-year strategic plan, the Action Plan includes a domain focusing on social participation. This domain aims to provide College Park residents with diverse, multicultural, multi-generational, and inclusive opportunities for engagement.
Recognizing the myriad benefits of physical activity and sports participation across all age groups, the City is considering a comprehensive grant program tailored to support adult sports leagues. Such an initiative not only aligns with the strategic plan and the Livable Communities Action Plan but also contributes to the overall vibrancy of College Park.
Research consistently highlights the positive impacts of sports participation, ranging from extending lifespan to reducing community crime and alleviating chronic illnesses. To promote community engagement and a healthy lifestyle, the City is exploring avenues to support adult sports leagues through a dedicated grant program.
While Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation offers some adult sports leagues, the City is considering additional opportunities through private organizations like Volo Sports, Peake Social, and Zog Sports, which provide diverse sports options for adults.
In anticipation of supporting a senior and social sports league, the Mayor and Council have allocated $30,000 in the FY24 budget. However, before finalizing the program, Council feedback is sought, and discussions with potential local partners are planned to determine the most effective program structure.
Key parameters to define include eligibility criteria, transparent funding allocation processes, user-friendly application procedures, and robust evaluation and monitoring mechanisms. Additionally, considerations involve budget estimation, distribution of funds, and collaboration with existing sports organizations and community leaders.
As the City delves into this new area, determining the optimal program structure is crucial. Potential approaches range from direct support for local residents forming leagues to third-party organization involvement or even direct management by City staff.
Town hall meetings, surveys, and collaboration with local stakeholders will play a pivotal role in shaping the program’s long-term sustainability. The fiscal impact, with $30,000 allocated in the FY24 Budget, reflects the City’s commitment to fostering a vibrant community through adult sports leagues in College Park.