What is KIDSPORTS?
KIDSPORTS is a private non-profit organization in Oregon that provides youth sports programs for pre-K through 12th graders in Eugene/Springfield and surrounding areas. KIDSPORTS teaches children and families the value of physical fitness, sportsmanship, practice and teamwork through sports and activities. Knowledgeable coaches and officials allow each player to achieve their personal best while having fun. All children have the opportunity to play. Sports programs and activities are open to any child who is able to participate regardless of race, religion, creed, sex, ability, or financial status.
Emerald KIDSPORTS was founded in 1953 to provide Eugene with a youth sports program. It started in the winter of 1953 with ten basketball teams. The vision was competitive athletics within the framework of good sportsmanship and equal participation for all. It served only boys until 1974 when sports for girls were added and the group became the Eugene Sports Program. The program uses public facilities and has received a modest subsidy from the city of Eugene since 1974, but it does not rely on direct tax support. Participation fees are supplemented by donations and sponsorships. Additional youth teams participate on an out-of-district basis along with joining local teams for tournaments/leagues in all sports.
In 1968, Eugene Mayor Gus Keller said that such a program couldn't be managed by the city for less than twice the cost. And former Mayor of Eugene, Jim Torrey, has said it's the best program around in bringing families, the youth and the neighborhoods together in a friendly, fun and safe manner. KIDSPORTS is a community effort, with the schools helping with the facilities, the community supplying the volunteers, and businesses helping to supply funds to operate the program.