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Local sports groups serving Dane County youth ages 17 and under are eligible to receive grants from the Madison Area Sports Commission.

The MASC’s announcement comes during a time when local sports organizations are postponing or canceling events and activities due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bi-annual youth grant awards are allocated to organizations that introduce Dane County youth to the lifelong enjoyment and health benefits of sports. Twelve local organizations shared more than $19,000 during the last round of youth grants.

“Many youth sports programs rely on participant fees to stay in operation, so with all group activities postponed or canceled, youth sports groups have suffered,” MASC Vice President Jamie Patrick said in a news release obtained by the Courier Hub. “It is our goal that the MASC Youth Grant Program will help support local organizations in providing sports opportunities for Dane County youth, as well as support area sporting facilities that are working through creative ways to make sports events possible when they are able to return.”

The program’s mission is to provide opportunities for area youth who may have financial limitations to experience the benefits of sports. To date, MASC has awarded more than $406,000 in funding to youth sports programs in Dane County.

The program is funded by contributions from the Ironman Community Foundation, private donors and corporations.

“This challenging situation provides an opportunity for the MASC Youth Grant Program to have a significant impact on local organizations,” said Elise Clancy Ruoho, Chair of MASC’s Advisory Board. “We hope that youth grants will allow more children in Dane County to have the opportunity to experience the joy of sports when they can safely resume.”

Applications for the next round of the grant cycle are currently being accepted and are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 12.

For information on how to apply for grants opportunity, visit www.madisonsports.org/youthgrant. For any questions about the MASC Youth Grant Program, email holstein@madisonsports.org.