A new sports league in Des Moines is designed to reach kids in neighborhoods that have limited opportunities. D.J. Roland is founder of the Inner City Urban Development Athletic League which will offer tackle and flag football competition for kids on the north and northeast sides of the capital city.

Roland says he used to coach little league football and restructuring took the team away, so he says he looked for a way to make a change. He says one of the problems is the large fee associated with youth sports.

Roland says his goal has been to provide opportunities while keeping the costs low. He says he got the idea of inner city urban development to get the kids out and active. Roland says the football league will start in third grade and hopes it will help promote the sport to kids who have not had the chance to play.

Roland also coaches high school football and says once the kids get to that level, they don’t have a lot of experience. He says offering the program a younger age will make the kids more competitive when they get older.

Roland has joined with AAU to help offer a number of different sports and says they will begin registering kids next week. They’ll kick off this fall and will start registering kids at North High School on June 3rd. He says all the games will be played at North High School.