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The LA84 Foundation, a legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, announced Thursday it awarded $1.3 million in grants in the first quarter of 2016 to support youth sports in Southern California.

The 26 grants went to nonprofit organizations that will collectively engage more than 38,000 youth in organized after-school sports programs to keep them active, safe and connected to positive adult role models, said LA84 Foundation President Renata Simril.

“We are pleased that this round of grants will help provide a safe place for LA’s underserved children to go after school, where they can build character and be mentored,” Simril said.

“Sports have the power to create a lasting positive impact on a child’s life, and we are inspired by all the kids and organizations that embody the values that have encouraged our organization to give back to our communities since the 1984 Olympic Games,” she said.

The largest grant — $335,000 — went to LA’s BEST for an after-school sports program which features basketball, flag football, softball and soccer in 188 elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The schools are located in high crime, low-income communities throughout southeast Los Angeles and provide a safe haven for nearly 13,000 youngsters.

Other grantees included:

— the Southern California Tennis Association, which was awarded $150,000 to support personnel, athlete expenses and equipment for tennis programs in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties;

— Heart of Los Angeles, which received $75,000 for soccer and basketball programs for youngsters in the densely populated Rampart neighborhood in Los Angeles;

— Play Rugby Inc., which will use its $77,650 award for personnel and equipment to introduce flag rugby at Los Angeles schools;

— Proyecto Pastoral, which received $20,000 to bring league play in basketball, soccer, flag football and baseball to Boyle Heights, including the Aliso Pico Recreation Center; and

— Beat the Streets-Los Angeles Inc., which will use its $23,563 grant to operate youth wrestling programs.

Since it began operations in 1985 with 40 percent of the surplus from the 1984 Olympics, the foundation has invested $225 million back into Southern California communities that supported the Games.

For a full list of this round’s grant recipients and award amounts, as well as more information about the LA84 grant application process, visit

—City News Service

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