Four Georgia neighborhoods awarded pitches in first phase, applications now open for second round
September 30, 2020 – The Atlanta United Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) have launched GA 100, a campaign to create 100 mini-pitches across Georgia before the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The first four sites have been chosen, and the Atlanta United Foundation is now seeking applications for the next round of grants.
The Atlanta United Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to LISC to lead installation of the first 20 mini-pitches across the state. With this funding, LISC – the nation’s leading community development support organization – will identify local, nonprofit and community-based agencies wishing to build or refurbish mini-pitch fields at schools, neighborhood parks and other recreation spaces in underserved Georgia neighborhoods. The local organizations will receive financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of mini-pitch fields in their communities. The organizations will then oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
This year marked the first phase of GA 100 grants, with awards totaling $292,500 going to:
- The Bainbridge Decatur County Recreation Authority, in Bainbridge, which will use its $75,000 grant to help build a mini-pitch field at the Bill Reynolds Sports Complex.
- Cherokee Youth Foundation, in Canton, whose $75,000 grant will build a field at Harmon Field Park in the Sunnyside neighborhood.
- Coastal Outreach Soccer, in Brunswick, which will use a $67,500 grant to build a futsal court at Howard Coffin Park.
- Sweetwater Mission, in Austell, which will use its $75,000 grant to build a mini-pitch field at South Cobb Pocket Park.
“One of the main goals of the Atlanta United Foundation is to bring soccer to communities that have no access to the sport,” said Rodrigo Rios, Atlanta United Academy Coach and Associate Committee Member, The Atlanta United Foundation. “The GA 100 project allows us to create soccer-specific spaces where entire communities, from young kids to adults, from different walks of life, can enjoy the benefits of playing soccer. We are really happy to be part of a project that will include more people across the state in the sport.”
The second phase of GA 100 will include grants for 16 mini-pitches in Georgia communities. Community organizations, schools, and parks and recreation departments across the state can apply for grants of up to $75,000. The grants require a minimum community local match of one dollar for every GA 100 dollar (1:1) up to $75,000.
The mini-pitch fields, once built, will include field surface improvements, goals, fencing and lighting. GA 100 grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
“The Atlanta United Foundation’s soccer expertise coupled with LISC’s community development experience makes for a highly effective partnership to propel mini-pitch construction in Georgia neighborhoods that need recreational facilities,” said Beverly Smith, LISC’s vice president of Sports & Recreation. “The GA 100 grants will benefit youth and families throughout the state.”
Requests for proposals from communities for the second phase of GA 100 grants will be accepted beginning October 1, 2020. The deadline for proposal submissions is April 1, 2021. For more information, visit GA 100.
Beverly Smith—Vice President, LISC Sports & Recreation
Abby Lutzenkirchen—Program Associate, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Marissa Ahrens—Manager, Community Relations, Atlanta United
About the Atlanta United Foundation
The Atlanta United Foundation (AUF) strives to make the game of soccer accessible and inclusive for individuals across the state of Georgia. Through the global game of soccer, our grant programs stress the importance of physical fitness while building a supportive culture of play and sportsmanship. AUF invests in nonprofit organizations that make soccer fun, exciting, and accessible for individuals who otherwise would not get to participate. AUF is an affiliated fund of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a national non-profit with a community focus that operates in over 30 cities and urban areas across the country. In collaboration with local community groups, LISC helps identify local priorities and challenges, transforming distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities. Through LISC’s Sports & Recreation program, improved access to 400 safe recreation spaces has been provided across the nation, serving over a million youth.
Media Contact: Caroline Huston, AUF, firstname.lastname@example.org