July 13, 3009

Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) Teams With Non-Profit to Bring Soccer to At-Risk Youth


Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) offers scholarships to youth that graduate from the Soccer Kids of America program, a Raleigh based non-profit organization that brings soccer to at-risk schools nationwide.

Raleigh, North Carolina, July 13, 2009 - Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) joined efforts with the Raleigh based non-profit, Soccer Kids of America, to make soccer more accessible to children in underserved communities. Not only will CASL donate equipment and volunteers to Soccer Kids of America, but the club will also grant scholarships to graduates of the character building program who need financial assistance.

Soccer Kids of America is a non-profit organization that teaches children life skills, including respect, integrity, teamwork, perseverance, diversity, and sportsmanship, all through the medium of soccer. The program focuses on at-risk communities and consists of one-hour sessions during after-school hours once a week for seven weeks.

Many Soccer Kids of America participants do not have the option of continuing soccer beyond the seven week program. However, with the help of CASL, now children can apply for financial assistance that allows them to play on an organized team in a recreational league.

"We are thrilled to have CASL on board. CASL is able to offer children that need financial assistance the opportunity to continue playing after completing the Soccer Kids of America program. It means so much to the children and their families to know they have the opportunity to play in an organized league despite financial hardship. In our pilot program, we had almost 50% of participants that wanted to sign up to play recreational soccer after graduating," said Erin Johnson, Founder and President of Soccer Kids of America.

According to the club's website, CASL's mission is to "provide instructional and competitive youth soccer opportunities that enhance character, community and love of the game of soccer." By donating used equipment, volunteers, and scholarships, CASL seeks to accomplish that goal of enhancing communities, particularly underserved communities and schools, by partnering with Soccer Kids of America.

"CASL is proud to help a worthwhile group such as Soccer Kids of America. The children that will be touched through the great game of soccer will learn many things on the field that will resonate throughout their lives now and in the years to come. The core values of Soccer Kids of America and CASL have the same basis and we are proud to work with them," said Charlie Slagle, CEO of CASL.

As Johnson plans to launch Soccer Kids of America nation-wide, she is hoping more major soccer clubs will follow CASL's example and donate resources toward the program's mission.

"CASL continues to be an innovator in the soccer community, setting an example for soccer leagues nationwide and we are honored to have their partnership. As we grow into a national charity, we will depend on leagues around our nation to support our mission and offer our underserved soccer community this same opportunity to play the wonderful sport of soccer," said Johnson.

The Soccer Kids of America pilot program is sponsored by Soccer.com, Hosted Solutions, Carolina Railhawks, and Preation. Please visit www.soccerkidsofamerica.org for more information about the program and to sign up to receive future updates and news releases via email.

About Soccer Kids of America:
Soccer Kids of America is a character development program for at-risk children in the fourth and fifth grades. The charity teaches life skills through the game of soccer at elementary schools in urban and rural areas throughout the U.S.

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