WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Soccer Foundation, KaBOOM!, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) today announced the 2014 Let’s Play Mini Pitch grant recipients, totaling over $100,000 in funding to install hard-surface mini soccer pitches in communities across the country. These mini pitches will provide safe places for children in underserved and under resourced communities to play, to learn and to grow through the game of soccer.
“Many of the top soccer players in the world ignited their passion and honed their skills in back yards, dirt roads, and paved streets – any open space with enough room to set up a goal,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President and CEO, U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Bringing these mini pitches to urban areas here in the U.S. builds off 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.”
The 2014 Let’s Play Mini Pitch grants will fund the transformation of urban spaces in seven communities nationwide, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, Kansas City, Greensboro and Kissimmee, FL.
“The well-being of society begins with the well-being of children,” said Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM! 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. “By providing these mini pitches across the country with support from the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, we can help communities become more playable by making it easier for kids to get the balanced and active play they need to thrive.”
These grants are made possible through Let’s Play, an initiative of Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Created in 2011, Let’s Play provides the tools, places and inspiration to make play a daily priority. DPS has committed more than $25 million to building or improving thousands of playgrounds across the country with KaBOOM! 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. 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.
“Some playgrounds need safe play structures, such as swing sets and climbing towers, while other spaces just need a safe, flat surface, a couple of goals and a ball for hours of fun. We’re proud to be bringing these options and more to deserving community organizations through Let’s Play,” said Vicki Draughn, vice president of corporate affairs, Dr Pepper Snapple Group. “These mini pitch grants add an exciting new dimension to our work with KaBOOM! while supporting the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s efforts to bring a great game to more Americans.”
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 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.
About Let’s Play
Let’s Play is a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) to get kids and families active nationwide. Since Let’s Play launched in 2011, DPS has worked with nonprofit KaBOOM! to build or improve more than 2,000 playgrounds across North America and in 2014 partnered with Good Sports to provide sports gear for deserving athletic organizations in communities coast to coast. For more information, visit LetsPlay.com or Facebook.com/LetsPlay.
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.
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.
U.S. Soccer Foundation