Council Enacts Legislation to Create New Montgomery County Sports Advisory Committee

by Patrick Herron

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 28, 2022—Today, the Council unanimously enacted Bill 6-22, which will create the Montgomery County Sports Advisory Committee. This new organizing body will identify and advocate for enhanced sports opportunities and address discrepancies found in youth sports.

Montgomery County has a rich sports tradition and numerous public and private facilities, including the Montgomery County SoccerPlex, which provide a significant economic boost to Montgomery County and raises the quality of life for residents.

The Montgomery Sports Commission will include 17 members, appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the Council, who reflect the diversity of the community, including diversity in race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, geography and sports represented.

The advisory committee is responsible for researching and reporting on factors that affect sports participation and making recommendations about ways to improve the quality, quantity and variety of sports opportunities and facilities in Montgomery County. Together with the County Executive and Council, the commission will formally recognize teams and athletes who win state or national championships or represent the U.S. in international competitions.

“Sports bring together communities and generations in ways that other activities cannot,” said Council President Gabe Albornoz. “In addition to the physical benefits that sports provide, players learn about commitment, fair play and teamwork while building self-esteem. It’s important that we establish an organization to ensure that all of our young people have access to recreational sports and that we have high-quality sports venues for our community members.”

Recent analysis, conducted by the County’s Office of Legislative Oversight, on youth sports participation in Montgomery County and gender equity in local sports programs, confirmed the numerous benefits of sports participation for children and youth in social and emotional development and overall health and wellness. The analysis also found that there is a wide discrepancy in sports participation in Montgomery County. The reports identified barriers to access that relate to social and economic factors in addition to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Montgomery County is home to Olympic athletes, professional athletes and numerous state and national championship teams. Sports participation is the largest extracurricular activity taken up by young people. When added to adult sports leagues and recreational play, sports is the largest participatory activity in Montgomery County.

Despite the significant interest, participation levels and rich sports history in Montgomery County, prior to Bill 6-22 there was no entity in the county to serve as an organizing body to help conduct research, advocate for enhanced sports opportunities or identify and address discrepancies found in youth sports opportunities.

The Council staff report and Bill 6-22 can be viewed here.


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