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Olympic Surplus to Aid Youth Sports Programs

March 22, 1987

The foundation disbursing Southern California's $90-million share of the 1984 Olympic surplus approved last week a $2.3-million program for development of Olympic sports at the junior high school level in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

In addition, 18 grants totaling $514,291 were approved for youth sports groups including organizations in Bell, Compton, Downey, Whittier and Huntington Park.

The junior high program for 11-to-15-year-olds will begin in the fall of 1987 and culminate about the time of the 1988 Seoul Olympics with a series of Olympic-style festivals for participants. There will be programs offered in all 23 summer Olympic sports, with the possible exception of shooting.

Stanton Wheeler, president of the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, said arrangements are being made with Boys and Girls Clubs and local YMCAs to serve as sites for the program. Each site will offer two or three sports.

The foundation also approved spending $30,000 to stage six-hour coaching clinics in track and field in two high school leagues, in collaboration with the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), Southern Section.

Wheeler said that if the pilot program for track and field coaches in the Moore League in Long Beach and the Marine League in San Pedro works out, the foundation may undertake a $1-million coaching clinic program with the CIF throughout Southern California.

He noted that about half of the coaches on the high school level are so-called "walk-ons," volunteers who often have not had much coaching experience. The foundation's coaching clinics devote three hours to psychological aspects and goals of coaching and three hours to training techniques in specific sports.

The foundation board also discussed but deferred action on a 30-page long-range planning report calling for average annual spending of $8 million from 1987 to the year 2004, at which time the foundation's grants and programs would end.

The report, prepared by a committee chaired by U.S. Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, said, however, that the foundation should put aside enough money out of its investment income to permanently endow the Sports Resource Center being built at its headquarters in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.

Grants approved last week included:

$200,000 to the Boys Clubs of America, Pacific region, for the further development of team handball, youth volleyball and mini-soccer, plus the initiation of table tennis and a girls sports program at 60 facilities in Southern California. This renews a grant of similar size made last year.

$75,000 to the King Football Conference, serving Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills, Bell, Commerce, Compton, Culver City and Downey for equipment to be used by the conference's 75 teams of 8-to-14-year-olds.

$21,300 to the Challengers Boys and Girls Club in South-Central Los Angeles to employ a sports program director and to purchase equipment for basketball, volleyball, softball and track and field.

Individual small grants varying from $2,500 to $5,000 to assist with uniforms, equipment, playing field improvements or participation fees for the following groups:

Downey Baseball Senior and Big League.

Whittier Pony Baseball League.

Southeast Youth Soccer Assn. in Huntington Park.

L.A. Blues women's soccer club.

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