Philadelphia Non-Profit Launches Youth Sports Task Force

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia non-profit has launched a task force to figure out how to bring after-school sports to every neighborhood in the city. They hope to design a system that would, literally, level the playing field.

When the city’s chief education officer, Otis Hackney, went from being principal of a suburban district to being principal of South Philly High, he says people would ask him the difference.

“and I would say water polo teams,” said Hackney.

To Hackney, that sums up disparity. The suburbs had them. South Philly had a bare minimum of traditional teams. Middle and elementary schools have none. Rec leagues, PAL and other providers try to make up the difference but it’s spotty.

The Kenney administration has put an emphasis on comprehensive out-of-school-time programs. The task force formed by Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative director Beth Devine is a boost.

“What we want to do with the task force is build the game plan for the biggest and best sports-based youth development program in the country,” said Devine.

Devine says the task force will recommend a blueprint and funding in a report due in June.

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