We bring soccer to underserved communities with a holistic approach to health and wellness. We accomplish this by providing free soccer programming, investing in safe places to play, and focusing on urban gardens and access to healthy food choices.
For communities where space is at a premium, the Foundation installs safe places to play called mini-pitches, often converted tennis courts, at community centers in underserved areas of Central Florida. At present, there are mini-pitches at John H. Jackson Neighborhood Center, Dr. I. Sylvester Hankins Park, Engelwood Neighborhood Center, Rock Lake Community Center, Frontline Outreach Center, and the Boys & Girls Club in Pine Hills, all in Orange County and Geneva Elementary School in Seminole County.
FREE SOCCER PROGRAMS
Children need to be active every day to promote their healthy growth and development. Children who establish healthy lifestyle patterns at a young age will carry them, and their benefits, forward for the rest of their lives. Physical activity promotes:
Healthy growth and development
Stronger bones, muscles and joints
Better posture and balance
A stronger heart
A healthier weight range
Social interaction with friends
Learning new skills while having fun
Better focus and concentration during school
Our programs teach soccer skills alongside healthy nutrition and our players are frequent visitors to encourage the children to maintain the healthy habits they are learning. We are currently operating in 10 Centers including all our mini-pitches.
Poor nutrition and obesity are both challenges to low-income neighborhoods. Low accessibility to nutritious foods can cause health problems to residents located in food deserts. The addition of gardens to these areas may improve nutrition and increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
The Foundation believes that urban agriculture can be beneficial to the environment, and to the health and wellbeing of community members. The introduction of community gardens may be able to reduce the impact of food deserts in low-income areas and allow residents greater access to nutritious food that is necessary to live a healthy life.
Community gardens can mitigate some of the problems that plague urban areas. They can be a beneficial addition to many communities by increasing the availability of nutritious foods, strengthening community ties, reducing environmental hazards, reducing food miles and creating a more sustainable system.
Since 2016, the Foundation has installed gardens at:
Rock Lake Community Center near Camping World Stadium - 20 raised beds next to the mini-pitch;
Boys & Girls Club, Pine Hills in 2017;
JB Callahan Neighborhood Center in 2017;
16 beds in the new ACE school in Parramore 2018;
part-funded the biggest community garden in Orlando at Lake Druid Park in April, 2017, 50 beds;
Quarter Acre Farm in Parramore 2018;
Winter Park Day Nursery 2018
Orlando Day Nursery
Rock Lake Middle School (Special Education program)
Coalition for the Homeless
Neptune Middle School