Montgomery County is expanding popular youth sports programs for girls

Popular youth sports programs catering to girls will be expanding in Montgomery County.  

The Montgomery Co. council voted to allocate $100,000 to increase access and opportunities in sports like volleyball, soccer, softball, lacrosse, and tennis.  

Councilmember Hans Riemer told FOX 5 after conducting a study on gender equity in sports, they found there was a huge gap in participation between girls and boys. 

"When we realized there was such an inequity of opportunity for sports programs for girls, we got thinking about well, what can we do about that," Riemer said. 

As of now, Riemer says there aren’t a lot of options for girls who play youth sports.  

SANDY SPRING, MD - APRIL 20: Members of the Sherwood girls' lacrosse team get fired up prior to action against Damascus on April 20, 2016 in Sandy Spring, MD. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

"I found out that we don’t have youth volleyball in Montgomery County," Riemer said. "In most places, volleyball is like one of the most popular sports for girls." 


We want to provide sports programming that girls like to play, but also that are available in communities that are not included in the current expensive athletics model that we have, where you have to pay all these fees." 

Riemer says the Montgomery County Department of Recreation will receive the approved funding from the council.   

"The department will fund a variety of different opportunities," Riemer said. "It could be a league that’s getting formed. It could help seed a new league that gets created, or it can be an existing program that we fund to expand its services." 

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One existing program – MoCo Lacrosse, founded by Jeff Wagner, introduces the sport to both girls and boys in lower-income areas of the county that normally wouldn’t be exposed to lacrosse. 

"We have found over the years that it’s a little more of a challenge to keep girls interested after a certain age," Wagner said. "The other barrier we found is some of the girls, more so than boys, are expected to be responsible for taking care of things at home. So, they’re not allowed to stay after school for activities." 

Wagner says by expanding these youth sports opportunities it could give more kids access to college. 

"There are many, many more opportunities for girls' lacrosse in colleges than people would ever think," he explained.  

Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the White Oak Community Recreation Center, there will be an event to promote some of the youth sports program opportunities for girls.