Buffalo Soccer Club receives U.S. Soccer Foundation grant
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • February 08, 2012 @ 9:41am
(Updated: Wednesday, 2:45 p.m.)
Buffalo Soccer Club, a local not-for-profit organization that provides soccer training for urban youth, has received a grant for $10,050 from the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Hooray!
“Receiving a national grant is a big deal for anyone,” BSC program director Anna-Lesa Calvert said in a phone call, “but especially for Buffalo.”
According to the press release, Buffalo Soccer Club “will be able to provide players with additional equipment and coaching from staff with better training. Grant money will also be used to provide local churches and community organizations with a small transportation stipend so they can bring children who are interested in the program to the BSC facility.”
The improvement in transportation is a real benefit to Buffalo Soccer Club. “Transport in urban areas is a bigger deal,” Calvert said. “In a lot of cases, parents aren’t able to drive their kids somewhere immediately after school.”
By giving community centers and churches an incentive for their youth to become involved with Buffalo Soccer Club, Calvert expects the summer house league program, which will be able to accommodate the added growth, to continue to blossom.
Changes include: one additional practice per week (from two to three), “healthy choices programming” to promote nutrition with kids and their parents, and additional educational opportunities for parents and coaches. Finally, BSC has been able to purchase two additional soccer goals for its field at the JFK Recreation Center, although further field expansion is not expected at this time.
“We’ll be able to provide [Buffalo Soccer Club] kids with a full game-day with a full soccer atmosphere,” Calvert, who played at the University at Buffalo and with the semi-pro Rochester Ravens, concluded.
As the “charitable arm of U.S. Soccer,” the U.S. Soccer Foundation doled out 60 grants nationwide totaling $2.4 million—it’s great to see that Buffalo Soccer Club, anchored by Calvert and executive director Tom Garigen, was both noticed and rewarded for its effort to spread soccer to an under-served community. For more information on the club’s staff, many of whom are recognizable to the Buffalo soccer community, visit this link.
“The U.S. Soccer Foundation seeks to improve the health and well-being of children in urban economically disadvantaged areas using soccer as a vehicle for social change,” reads the U.S. Soccer Foundation “About Us” page. There’s also a heavy emphasis on health and nutrition, according to the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s website.