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$1.8 Million in Olympic Funds OKd for Youth Sports

March 18, 1986|KENNETH REICH | Times Staff Writer

Nearly $1.8 million in grants from the 1984 Olympic surplus were approved Monday by the Amateur Athletic Foundation for youth sports projects in Southern California, including $500,000 for a Boy Scout program in San Pedro and $116,667 to renovate the track at Balboa Stadium in San Diego.

The San Diego grant was made on a "challenge basis," to actually be distributed only when a local group, the Friends of Balboa Stadium, raise the rest of the $350,000 needed for the project.

Similarly, the foundation board made a "challenge" grant of $250,000 to the Hollenbeck Police Business Council in East Los Angeles for expansion of the Hollenbeck Youth Center and establishment of a regional gymnastics center. The council must raise another $250,000 for the project before the foundation will award its grant.

The $500,000 for a waterfront youth sports program to operate in conjunction with the Boy Scouts camp and conference center at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro was conditioned only on final approval of the Scouts' plans, at which time the foundation board said the grant could be as high as $550,000.

The rest of a total of 29 grants, many of which were quite small, were made unconditionally.

Foundation President Stanton Wheeler said the challenge grants are designed to encourage community groups to help themselves. He said that in the years ahead he expects many of the more sizable grants of the surplus Olympic funds to be made on that basis. The foundation expects to make about $5.5 million in grants in each of its first two years in existence.

$90-Million Total

The foundation eventually will control a capital sum of about $90 million, but, in a surprise announcement, Paul Ziffren, the board chairman, disclosed that, contrary to indications at the beginning of February, the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee has not yet made a new distribution of money and is holding more than $100 million in its own accounts.

This means that the foundation and the United States Olympic Committee--another major beneficiary of Olympic surplus--each has received as yet only a $50-million distribution. Ziffren ascribed the new delay to technicalities that he did not discuss in detail. Wheeler pointed out that Monday's grants extend the foundation into other parts of Southern California, with some money going not only to Los Angeles and San Diego counties, but also to Ventura, Orange, Santa Barbara and Riverside counties. This trend will continue, the foundation president said.

These grants were also approved:

- $100,000 to the Constitutional Rights Foundation for a sports and law program in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Designed to be offered initially to about 420 students in two junior high schools, the course will examine such topics as sports contracts, recruiting violations and violence in sports. A similar program was given high ratings in St. Louis.

- $25,047 to the Volunteers of America of Los Angeles for a seminar on jobs having to do with sports. A three-day workshop, followed by meetings one Saturday a month for 10 months, will involve about 100 high school juniors and seniors.

- $46,308 for the establishment of a throwing center for hammer, discus, javelin and shot at West Los Angeles College. The center will be under the direction of former Olympic gold medalist Hal Connolly.

- $175,400 for the first year of a planned two-year pilot YMCA team sports program at Y facilities in the Crenshaw District, East Los Angeles, Hollywood and Montebello. Teams will be organized in basketball, volleyball, swimming and a minor sport yet to be designated.

- $51,000 to the Southern California Badminton Assn. for organization of five to seven badminton playing centers, including at least three in Los Angeles inner-city areas, one in the Riverside or Claremont area, one in Orange County and possibly others in Altadena and the San Fernando Valley.

- $201,200 to the Boys Club of America/Pacific Region for team handball, mini-handball and mini-soccer facilities at 30 different boys and girls clubs in Southern California. Mini-facilities are sports played on smaller fields with fewer players.

- $100,000 to the Long Beach Rowing Assn. for equipment and other support for an instructional and competitive program for high school-age youths from throughout the Los Angeles Basin.

- $20,500 to the Ventura Youth Sports Assn., to support baseball and soccer programs in the Saticoy area of Ventura.

- $12,346 to the Ventura Department of Parks and Recreation for a summer basketball camp and winter league play for 250 youngsters in a low-income area along Ventura Avenue.

- $15,000 to the Ladera Little League in the Inglewood area to develop a girls softball league involving 312 girls.

- $10,200 to the First Christian Church of Bell for development of community sports leagues in basketball and volleyball. The leagues will be open to all youngsters regardless of church membership.

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