Iowa Soccer Development Foundation pledges Prairie Meadows Youth Sports and Recreational Grant funds to 9 area organizations

DES MOINES, Iowa (Oct. 25, 2022) — The Iowa Soccer Development Foundation (ISDF) announced today that it awarded nine area organizations with soccer equipment to support underserved youth in central Iowa. The funds were made possible thanks to the $12,000 grant Prairie Meadows awarded ISDF back in October 2021 as part of the Youth Sports and Recreational Grant Program. ISDF partnered with Pro Iowa — the campaign that looks to bring professional soccer to Iowa — to deliver the equipment. 

“This grant award fits seamlessly into Pro Iowa’s efforts to date installing 10 mini-pitches across the state, including seven here in central Iowa,” said Charley Campbell, ISDF secretary. “Part of our mission at ISDF and that of the Pro Iowa Initiative are to connect individuals through shared experiences, especially through the world’s game — soccer. The organizations we’ve selected to receive soccer equipment have similar missions and do great work to support Iowa’s youth.”

The ISDF used the grant funding to provide over 650 soccer balls, ball bags and training vests to the following organizations:

Clive Parks & Rec: ISDF and Pro Iowa awarded 150 soccer balls to area youth at the Clive Latino Heritage Festival at Linnan Park on Sept. 29. Linnan Park is the site of one of Pro Iowa’s mini-pitches. Pro Iowa reps and the Des Moines Menace presented the balls to children in attendance and hosted open play on the mini-pitch.

“Thank you to the ISDF and Pro Iowa for coming to the Clive Latino Festival and handing out soccer balls. I know they were a hit with the community!” — Jon Gibbs, Recreation Coordinator, Clive Parks and Rec

Oakridge Neighborhood Services: ISDF and Pro Iowa partnered with Oakridge Neighborhood Services to provide more than 175 soccer balls, training vests and ball bags for the community to utilize with the mini-pitch that was installed there in 2021. Together, the organizations hosted an event on Oct. 11 to award children from the neighborhood with the equipment.

“We are so appreciative of the partnership with Pro Iowa. This donation helps us as we put together a soccer league for our elementary school aged students.” — John Spinks, Director of Oakridge Neighborhood’s 21st Century Learning Center

Genesis Youth Foundation: ISDF and Pro Iowa provided 100 soccer balls for youth participating in Genesis Youth Foundation’s Next Move Soccer Program. The Next Move Soccer Program is intended to introduce soccer to young boys and girls, ages 4 to 7, and teach them a love of the game.

Can Play: ISDF and Pro Iowa partnered with Can Play to donate nearly 100 soccer balls for the organization to utilize in their soccer programming. Can Play brings adapted and no-cost recreational programs to Iowa communities by removing barriers to play while focusing on inclusion, community and play.

“Can Play will use the soccer balls provided by the ISDF to ensure equitable access to the game of soccer this coming year.  We appreciate their partnership growing the game, especially among those with barriers to play in our community!” — Dylan DeClerck, Co-Founder, Can Play

Des Moines Public Schools High Schools (North, East, Roosevelt, Lincoln and Hoover): ISDF and Pro Iowa gifted the Des Moines Public Schools High Schools’ girls and boys teams with fourteen training-level balls and a ball bag each.

"We are very grateful for your support. As one of the most diverse schools in the state, North High School is providing an opportunity to play and removing as many barriers as possible for our student athletes. Thank you!" — Lisa Grefe, Head Girls Soccer Coach, North High School

“It was such a blessing to not have to worry about finding additional funding to replace our older soccer balls that aren’t of quality anymore. You saved the day!” — Joe Sithonnorath, Head Boys Soccer Coach, Lincoln High School

“Pro Iowa's donation will allow the Roosevelt Girls Soccer Team to check balls out to players so they can continue to work on their skills outside of our limited practice times.  We are all excitedly awaiting the day for pro soccer to kick off in downtown Des Moines!” — Brandon Hope, Head Girls Soccer Coach, Roosevelt High School

“Many of Hoover's athletes are refugee students who do not have access to quality gear.  Pro Iowa's contribution will make a huge difference in our ability to meet their needs and provide a strong training environment.” — John Rubino, Head Boys and Girls Soccer Coach, Hoover High School 

“We’d like to thank Prairie Meadows for awarding ISDF this grant,” Campbell said. “Thanks to their generosity, we and the organizations we partnered with are better equipped to promote and expand access to soccer to youth across the state.”

To learn more about the Prairie Meadows Youth Sports and Recreational Grants Program and recipient qualifications, visit their website.

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