Youth Sports Nonprofit Programs Awarded Fundplay Grants From LeagueApps
10 impactful sports-based youth development organizations to gain free access to technology and development as part of the LeagueApps mission for creating equitable play opportunities
Application deadline for Q2 2021 submissions is May 31; Apply at FundPlay.org
New York, NY, May 24, 2021 – LeagueApps, the operating system and community for youth and local sports, today announced 10 new FundPlay grants were awarded to sports-based youth development (SBYD) programs across the United States. These grants included software grants, cash awards, and a variety of other benefits and resources to provide capacity-building support and infrastructure. This class of grantees, including the tens of thousands of young people collectively served, represents the largest single quarter of recipients since FundPlay began.
2021 Q1 FundPlay Grantees, listed by location, are below:
CALIFORNIA (Oakland Genesis, Youth Tennis Advantage)
MARYLAND (Prince George’s Tennis & Education)
NEW YORK (Active Plus, Algonquin Sports, Uptown Soccer)
OHIO (Recess Cleveland)
PENNSYLVANIA (Kensington Soccer, The Lighthouse 1893)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WINNERS Lacrosse)
“We created FundPlay as a social impact program to ensure kids have access to start and continue experiencing the power of play,” said Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Head of Community & Impact at LeagueApps and President, FundPlay. “Our Q1 Class of 10 nonprofit organizations and their dynamic leaders embody those same principles every day. These FundPlay grants are customized to help support program operations and growth and the communities they serve, advancing our goal to address equity gaps within the youth and local sports industry.”
A recent survey from the Youth Sports Collaborative Network, a national member-based association for nonprofits providing SBYD programs, showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on young people’s activities. The participating youth sports programs serving under-resourced communities reported that 84% of their registered youth have not regularly participated due to the pandemic.
SBYD programs and their dynamic leaders, such as those awarded FundPlay grants, serve a vital need. They are directly responsible for a variety of positive healthy outcomes, including increased social emotional learning, pro-social relationship skills, and better academic performances.
A drastic drop in participation, along with the multitude of societal changes 2020 brought to our country, validates the importance of FundPlay as a platform for prioritization of equitable access to youth and local sports programs.
What is FundPlay?
FundPlay, an Aspen Project Play Champion, was founded by LeagueApps to support youth sports organizations and foster sports experience opportunities for young people from underserved communities. FundPlay has impacted more than 225,000 kids, nearly halfway to its goal of reaching 500,000 kids by the end of 2022.
LeagueApps recently held the first-ever FundPlay Summit where more than 100 sports-based youth development program leaders from across the country gathered, virtually, for a day of conversations and workshops. For a complete recap of the event, more information on the LeagueApps program and to apply for a grant, please visit FundPlay.org.
2021 Q1 FundPlay Grantees
Active Plus – Led by executive director & founder Tarik Kitson, Active Plus is a New York City-based nonprofit dedicated to improving physical, mental, and emotional health and wellness among youth within at-risk communities. activeplus-nyc.org
Algonquin Sports – Executive director Ryan DiNunzio leads Algonquin Sports to be a facilitator and leader of athletic opportunities for underserved youth in Western New York. Its work creates systemic change as children use the skills intentionally taught through participation to grow individually and become productive members of their families and communities. as4kids.org
Kensington Soccer – Philadelphia-based Kensington Soccer Club, run by executive director Jim Hardy, is dedicated to uniting and advancing the broader Kensington community with high quality soccer and youth development programs for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. kensingtonsoccer.org
Prince George’s Tennis & Education Foundation (PGTEF) – Led by executive director Brenda Gilmore, PGTEF is committed to its mission for developing and delivering academics, athletic, and life skills programs that foster confidence and achievement in the classroom, on the court, and in life. The registered USTA Community Tennis Association program provides these opportunities for under-served youth across Prince George’s County. pgtef.org/
Oakland Genesis – For Oakland Genesis Soccer Club and co-founders Cody Pillon and Matt Fondy, soccer is a tool to empower, educate, and inspire Oakland’s leaders of tomorrow. The core of its mission is inclusivity. We deliver cost-free youth development programming to Oakland youth from underserved communities, channeling their passion for soccer into personal growth, educational achievement and life success. oaklandgenesis.org
Recess Cleveland – Recess Cleveland is a nonprofit program that creates safe spaces for play during its pop up “recess” events at schools, community gatherings, and private events in and around Northeast Ohio. Its mission is to stimulate emotional growth, promote physical activity, and increase community participation. recesscleveland.com
The Lighthouse 1893 – In Philadelphia, Lighthouse 1893’s mission is to provide educational, recreational, cultural, social, and economic improvement programs to families to improve the quality of their lives. It empowers inner city youth with confidence, motivation, opportunities, and success powered by the belief that they can achieve their dreams that will transcend into every aspect of their lives. lighthouse1893.org
Uptown Soccer – Uptown Soccer, based in Northern Manhattan (NYC) and co-founded in 2009 by David Sykes and Cynthia Carron, is a free soccer program that provides a safe place for kids to be active in the after school hours, and at the same time helps kids develop as community members and healthy, successful individuals. uptownsoccer.org
WINNERS Lacrosse – Led by executive director Matt Breslin, WINNERS Lacrosse is a nonprofit providing Washington, D.C. boys and girls from underserved neighborhoods the opportunity to learn the game of lacrosse and the life skills associated with playing a team sport. WINNERS uses lacrosse as a vehicle to instill values, education, and life sustaining skills that will give young boys and girls the tools to be successful on and off the field. winnerslacrosse.org
Youth Tennis Advantage – Executive director Mike Skinner leads Youth Tennis Advantage in its dedication to serving youth in inner city communities through a comprehensive program of tennis and academic tutoring that promotes the physical, educational, and life skills necessary to prepare and empower them for leadership in their communities and success in their personal lives. In carrying on the vision and legacy of tennis great Arthur Ashe, YTA provides tennis, educational and life skills programs to support the youth on a personal level, inspiring them to reach their greatest potential. youthtennisadvantage.org
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