(1) The sports mentoring program is established to enable eligible nonprofit community-based organizations to provide opportunities for underserved youth to join sports teams or otherwise participate in the area of sports. The goal of the program is to support youth in building self-confidence, developing skills in the areas of goal setting and collaboration, and promoting a healthy lifestyle through forming positive relationships with peers and family, avoiding risky or delinquent behavior, and achieving educational success. Proceeds from the Seattle Mariners special license plate, issued under RCW 46.18.200
, must be deposited into the Seattle Mariners account in accordance with RCW 46.68.420
. Funds in the account may only be used, except as provided under RCW 46.68.420
(6), for grants to support youth to stay in school, participate in sports, and receive mentorships.
(2) The Washington state leadership board may issue competitive grants to eligible organizations. The following criteria must be used to prioritize applications:
(a) Services provided by the organization to program participants are provided without a fee;
(b) Eligible organizations must assist children with enrolling in sports through their parents, guardians, or coach; and
(c) Eligible organizations must provide professional staff support to the mentor, child, and parent.
(3) Eligible organizations must meet the following requirements:
(a) Be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization;
(b) Conduct national criminal background checks for all employees and volunteer mentors who work with children;
(c) Have adopted standards for care including staff training, health and safety standards, and mechanisms for assessing and enforcing the program's compliance with the standards adopted;
(d) Ensure that sixty percent or more of the children they serve are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch;
(e) Provide free, direct services to children through volunteer mentoring; and
(f) Provide professional oversight of all mentoring relationships for each child served.