GREENSBORO, NC – Aspiring soccer players in Northeast Greensboro will have a unique new place to hone their skills thanks to a $15,000 Let’s Play Mini Pitch grant from Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS), KaBOOM! and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. The grant enabled Greensboro United Soccer Association and their Foundation to install an acrylic soccer mini-pitch that will provide a safe place for children to play, to learn and to grow.
This grant was made possible through Let’s Play, an initiative of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, to provide the tools, resources and inspiration for children and families to be active. The U.S. Soccer Foundation, through its Safe Places to Play program, and in partnership with KaBOOM!, is focused on bringing small-sided soccer-specific play spaces to urban, underserved communities nationwide.
“We are thankful for the support from the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Dr Pepper Snapple and KaBOOM!, which has enabled us to install a beautiful mini soccer pitch on an old, unused basketball court,” said Pete Polonsky, Executive Director. “We are committed to taking soccer to our community and this will provide a great opportunity for kids in this neighborhood to be able to play soccer and futsal in a safe environment.”
The core mission of Greensboro United Soccer Foundation is to expand the influence of the sport of soccer in communities throughout Greensboro and the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina. The Let’s Play Mini Pitch grant seeks to strengthen and revitalize the community by providing a beautiful space for the youth and adults of the community to play soccer.
“Many of the top soccer players in the world fell in love with the game in back yards, dirt roads, and paved streets – any open space big enough for a goal,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President and CEO, U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Building these mini-pitches grew out of the idea that, even with minimal resources, we can create safe places for children to play and invest in introducing the next generation to the world’s game.”
Created in 2011, Let’s Play provides the tools, places and inspiration to make play a daily priority. The initiative began with a three-year commitment to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all kids get the balanced and active play they need to thrive. Through the first three years, they built 41 playgrounds, with more than 2,300 DPS employees contributing nearly 19,000 volunteer hours in the construction, and provided grants ranging from $500 to $30,000 for the improvement of another 2,004 playgrounds by the end of 2013.
Visit Let’s Play at www.LetsPlay.com to join the conversation and learn how to apply for the various available grants to make communities more active and playful.
About Greensboro United Soccer Association
GUSA aims to be known as a top program for youth soccer development. Their goal is to help each of our athletes reach the level of competition that they are seeking to achieve.
GUSA’s philosophy involves creating and implementing age-appropriate training curriculum at all levels to ensure the best development of all of their players. Their focus is on player development vs. wins and losses. They aim to provide a standardized and structured support plan to their players, coaches and parents to implement this player-centric programming at every level of the game. They strive to be successful, and are committed to youth development, teaching life lessons, and community building, to help develop great kids who are great soccer players. GUSA seeks to provide experienced, professional, and caring coaches to teach and develop soccer players. The training environment is very important at GUSA and they strive to help their players develop a passion for the game and a mindset whereby they understand that the best players want to practice, train, compete, and have fun.
About Let’s Play
Let’s Play is an initiative launched in 2011 by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to provide the tools, places and inspiration to make play a daily priority. By 2017, DPS will provide nearly 10 million children across North America with new opportunities to play and be active through Let’s Play. In partnership with the nonprofit organizations KaBOOM! and Good Sports, Let’s Play is working to eliminate the ‘play deficit’ by building and improving play spaces and providing grants for athletic equipment and gear. For more information, please visit LetsPlay.com or Facebook.com/LetsPlay.
About Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is a leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 13 of our 14 leading brands are No. 1 or No. 2 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Clamato, Crush, Hawaiian Punch, Mott’s, Mr & Mrs T mixers, Peñafiel, Rose’s, Schweppes, Squirt and Sunkist soda. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit www.DrPepperSnapple.com. For our latest news and updates, follow us at www.Facebook.com/DrPepperSnapple or www.Twitter.com/DrPepperSnapple.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is a recognized leader in sports-based youth development programs for children in underserved, urban communities. Since its founding in 1994, the organization has provided more than $100 million in funding to create and sustain innovative programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Proven to deliver positive health and social outcomes, the Foundation’s affordable initiatives offer safe environments in which both boys and girls thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Visit http://www.ussoccerfoundation.org to learn more.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,000 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 7.4 million children. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy lives and communities. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.
U.S. Soccer Foundation
Greensboro United Soccer Association