Los Angeles 2028 and the IOC have funded the PlayLA initiative, which aims to provide "affordable and accessible sports programming to kids of all abilities throughout Los Angeles" ©Getty Images

An initiative aimed to bring sports to children in Los Angeles, launched by the Los Angeles 2028 Organising Committee, Los Angeles City and LA Parks, has started.

PlayLA kicked off on Saturday (November 6) at the Algin Sutton Recreation Center, with a range of sports available for children to play.

The programme aims to provide "affordable and accessible sports programming to kids of all abilities throughout Los Angeles."

It is funded by Los Angeles 2028 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with the Organising Committee committing $160 million (£120 million/€140 million) to children's sports development in the city before the Olympics arrive in 2028.

The $160 million programme is the single largest commitment to youth sport development in California and "will ensure every kid in LA has an opportunity to participate in low-cost or no-cost quality sports programming in their neighbourhood," it is claimed.

Olympians Karsta Lowe and Octavio Alesi and Paralympians Jamal Hill and Ezra Frech attended the first event of PlayLA

They played basketball, field hockey, soccer, adaptive skateboarding, adaptive tennis, goalball and other sports with Los Angeles children.

"We seized an unprecedented opportunity during our bid for the Games to bring a historic community investment to Los Angeles, and the best part is we don’t have to wait until 2028 to see the benefits," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. 

"We’re delivering affordable access to youth sports programs across our city right now - and we know how transformative that opportunity can be, especially for low-income families. 

"I am grateful to LA28, the IOC and all of the partners that have helped make this incredible program possible, and I can’t wait to get out there and see our young athletes in action."

Los Angeles 2028 chief athlete officer and five-time Olympic medalist Janet Evans added: "Access to sports at a young age made me who I am

"Sports are so important for our individual and collective physical and mental health. 

"It doesn’t matter whether you’re competing for a gold medal or playing with your best friends - sport teaches us lessons we carry with us for life. 

"And that should be available to everyone."

The Los Angeles 2028 Olympics are set to get underway on July 21, closing on August 6.

The 2028 Paralympics are due to follow from August 22 to September 3.