FundPlay: How Detroit Soccer District Helps Make Youth Soccer a Sport for all Kids
By Melissa Wickes
December 15, 2022
Pearce Branigan started off by rooting for Germany and the US in the World Cup. When they both got eliminated, he was hoping maybe Brazil or Morocco could make it the long way. But, as FIFA fate would have it, all of them have been eliminated. The good news is, that hasn’t stifled his love for soccer and passion for making an impact in underserved communities.
Pearce is the Director of Coaching at Detroit Soccer District—a non-profit working to provide quality coaching in after-school settings, camps, and during their year-round soccer club. Growing up, he had a memorably bad coach, and that has motivated him to dedicate his life to providing affordable, high quality soccer to everyone—especially in underserved areas.
Detroit Soccer District offers programs for no more than $200 a season, and they’re even working toward getting funding for free soccer programs—because soccer is a game for everybody.
Detroit Youth Soccer’s Challenges
One of the biggest challenges in the community Detroit Youth Soccer serves is transportation. They serve a lot of low income, one parent households in the city where kids struggle to get to practice because of their parents’ working schedules. To combat this, they’ve been trying to find a central location and/or provide multiple locations for kids to play. In January, they’ll be offering after school programs in nine different Detroit public schools.
LeagueApps has been a huge help in centralizing locations for Detroit Youth Soccer, Pearce tells us. They also use our software—which they’ve been granted for free, for life as part of our FundPlay program—to track and complete payments, pull retention reports, communicate, and garner new members.
Pearce tells us that with the help of LeagueApps, they’ve been able to reduce their turnover rate from 50% to 15% as well as simplify communication with parents. By using the LeagueApps Play mobile app, all of Detroit Soccer District’s game and practice communications are streamlined and they don’t have to rely on calling or texting to get a message to parents.
“I can sleep well at night knowing I don’t have to do as much work,” says Pearce.
Learn How to Get LeagueApps Software for Free
LeagueApps believes every child should be able to play sports—but children from underserved communities often miss out on this opportunity. That’s why we created FundPlay, which provides technology, training, and support to sports-based youth development organizations across the country. Our applications for the 2022 year are closed, but stay tuned for information about the 2023 application so you can apply for a free FundPlay grant or nominate another organization.