Two major issues impacting kids’ health and “fun quotient” are lack of facilities/equipment and programs that provide at least some supervision or guidance for kids who want to play. And because these are major issues we are seeing great organizations, people, and companies working together to address one or both of the issues. For example, kaboom!, love.futbol, America Scores, Bridge II Sports, and SquashBusters. There are so many more.
Another entity addressing both of these issues is the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the charitable arm of U.S. soccer in the U.S. The Foundation recently announced that it awarded $2.62 million in funds available to 36 groups in 18 states and the District of Columbia as part of its 16th annual grants program.The money from the Foundation addresses the issue of formal programming through its “Soccer for Success.” These multi-year grants are “focused on providing free after-school soccer programming to thousands of children in grades K-8 giving them a safe environment to get the exercise they need every day.”
With respect to having more places to play, the Foundation has its “Footprint Fields” program. This year the Foundation awarded nine field grants for “the construction of FieldTurf soccer fields that are durable, and can be used in all weather conditions. “Footprint Fields” is a national program launched in July, 2009 by adidas, FieldTurf and MLS W.O.R.K.S. to help develop soccer fields in underprivileged neighborhoods.”