A movement to seek federal assistance for youth sports programs has support from at least four bipartisan members of Congress who have signed initial letters backing the call for at least $8 billion in emergency funding.

The bipartisan co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Youth Sports—Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Illinois), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas), and Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-North Dakota)—are the first to join the sign-on letter drafted by the PLAY Sports Coalition. In April, the coalition announced it was seeking $8.5 billion through the creation of an economic stabilization fund for youth sports providers as well as the formation of a youth sports COVID-19 Task Force.

“Especially now, physical activity and staying active is so important for kids and teens,” Kind said. “While most organized youth sports are on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that youth sports organizations are able to survive until it’s safe to resume organized sports again. I am proud to work on a bipartisan basis to provide support for youth sports organizations during this difficult time.”

“I coached my twin boys’ youth football team for years and I’ve seen firsthand the dedication and sacrifice that’s required by the players, parents, and communities to make these leagues successful,” said Davis. “This pandemic has shut down all youth sports and caused uncertainty for young athletes across our country. As a co-chair of the Youth Sports Caucus, we’re working to help these leagues that provide so much value to our kids be able to continue when it’s safe to do so.”

Since announcing the effort, the PLAY Sports Coalition has amassed support from more than 1,000 community leaders representing millions of youth athletes, families, coaches and volunteers. The group is seeking an expansion of the CARES Act relief program to cover sports-based youth development organizations, interscholastic sports programs and youth sports providers.

The coalition is led by Jon Butler (Pop Warner), Jeremy Goldberg (LeagueApps), Keri King (Triple Crown Sports), Benita Fitzgerald Mosley (Olympic gold medalist and CEO of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA), Wayne B. Moss (National Council of Youth Sports), and Luke Zaientz (Reigning Champs).