ASHBURN, Va. — The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is excited to announce a new, multi-year partnership with Musco Lighting to advance equitable access to youth sports. This partnership will support park and recreation agencies to increase access to sports and play, particularly for youth of color, girls, LGBTQ+ youth, youth living in low-income households and youth with disabilities.
As one of the largest providers of youth sports and youth development services in the nation, reaching over 40 million youth each year, park and recreation professionals are catalysts for youth sports equity in communities nationwide. With support from Musco Lighting, NRPA will provide funding and in-kind support to local park and recreation agencies to develop an evidence-based Youth Sports Equity Framework, which will serve as a roadmap to guide park and recreation professionals seeking to advance impactful, sustainable solutions that build sports equity and increase participation in youth sports.
Over three years, Musco Lighting will provide direct funding and in-kind donations to support NRPA and park and recreation agencies to increase equitable access to youth sports. In the first year of the program, agencies that received funding through NRPA’s 2021 Youth Sports and Play Grant Program are eligible for this grant opportunity. In addition, NRPA will invite all agencies within the 2021 Youth Sports and Play Cohort to participate in a learning community that will also support the creation of the equity framework.
Outside of this network, Musco Lighting and NRPA will convene local park and recreation professionals, cross-sector stakeholders, and youth sports leaders in ongoing dialogue to continue developing high-quality professional development opportunities for the field of parks and recreation.
“We see this as an opportunity to have generational impact on creating equitable youth sports,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA president and CEO. “As one of the largest providers of youth sports and youth development services in the nation, park and recreation professionals are our best chance for achieving youth sports equity in communities nationwide.”
“This partnership is about access to sports and recreation for all youth,” said Jeff Rogers, president and CEO of Musco. “There are a lot of initiatives out there focused on solving this problem, but we believe NRPA has the mission, staff, member organizations, and resources that make it a perfect catalyst for bringing supporters together and streamlining this important work. We’re proud to be a partner and look forward to working with their team to advance the Youth Sports Equity Framework.”
The majority of park and recreation agencies (86 percent) provide and/or facilitate local youth sports programming. Centering equity-based best practices in these youth sports programs, facilities and policies can help to ensure that all children have access to a safe and welcoming youth sports experience close to home.
For more information on NRPA’s Access to Youth Sports, click here.
About the National Recreation and Park Association
About Musco Lighting
Since 1976, Musco Lighting has specialized in the design and manufacture of sports and transportation/infrastructure lighting solutions. Musco’s Total Light Control – TLC for LED™ technology is the solution of choice for new and retrofit installations at hometown fields, professional stadiums, international superspeedways, Olympic Games, and the biggest ports, airports, and railyards in the world. Musco’s facility solutions also include Show-Light+® entertainment package, the Mini-Pitch System™ modular sports solution, MuscoVision® automated sports broadcasting, and the Communication-Structure System™ monopole for wireless Internet. All of Musco’s solutions are backed by long-term parts and labor warranties.