College Park could soon see funding for recreational social sports leagues aimed at the city’s adult and senior citizen population.

The initiative comes as part of the city’s AARP Community Action Plan, adopted last May to help engage the city’s residents in inclusive and multigenerational opportunities. The city’s fiscal year 2024 budget includes $30,000 to form social sports leagues. College Park city staff are eyeing a pilot date in summer 2024.

District 3 city council member Stuart Adams said he doesn’t believe that $30,000 is enough for the city to set up and run its own sports league, but added it could lay the groundwork in this fiscal year.

“The framework that we’re talking about is probably recommending what types of leagues would be viable and appreciated by the residents of College Park,” Adams said at a Feb. 6 meeting where the council discussed the future of the sports leagues.

[College Park City Council considers tax credits for affordable housing, blighted properties]

According Gail Lovelace, a member of the city’s seniors committee, Adams brought up the possibility of the leagues to committee members last fall. Lovelace is particularly enthusiastic about how social sports leagues could add to the city, she said.

“Many of us in the community go to other surrounding communities to participate in these kinds of social and exercise sort of activities,” Lovelace said. “It would be fabulous to be able to do something here in College Park.”

Seniors committee co-chair Mary Anne Hakes said she is keen about the idea of partnering with surrounding neighborhoods such as Greenbelt, Laurel and Hyattsville through the creation of these leagues.

“We’re all about partnerships,” Hakes said. “If someone else has already done it and we can join in with them, I think that would be terrific.”

Many believe these social leagues may also have the potential to include students from this university.

Gannon Sprinkle, the city’s deputy student liaison, believes the city can find many opportunities to work with students on recreation opportunities.

“I know that there definitely is a demand among students,” Sprinkle said during a council discussion on Feb. 6. “I play pickup basketball three times a week and it is competitive to find a court or to find space to play any sport on campus.”

[College Park residents divided over student rent subsidy pilot program]

Bonnie McClellan, the seniors committee’s co-chair, said she would like to see intergenerational partnerships between the city and this university go beyond just sports.

Connecting students and senior citizens through sports leagues could be one piece of a larger effort, McClellan said, pointing to opportunities to have city residents attend lectures and performances at this university as well.

The next step in forming sports leagues would be a citywide survey to identify interest, Adams said, as well as identifying facilities that could be used.

Starting sports leagues holds benefits for the city, Adams said.

“In Calvert Hills [and] Old Town people are saying ‘Oh yeah, I go to D.C. every Saturday to play social sports, I’d love to play here instead,’” Adams said. “We would like to bring people here to our community to patronize our businesses, especially during the summertime.”