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The Atlanta United Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) have announced grants to develop eight new soccer mini-pitches as part of the second phase of the GA 100 campaign. With 12 mini-pitches now in development, the GA 100 campaign is closer to its goal to create up to 100 mini-pitches across the state leading into the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

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 – identifies local, nonprofit and community-based agencies wishing to build or refurbish soccer mini-pitches at schools, neighborhood parks and other recreation spaces in Georgia neighborhoods. The local organizations receive financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of mini-pitches in their communities. The organizations then oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.

The campaign kicked off in 2020, with awards going to four neighborhood organizations. This year, $485,000 will be directed to six organizations to build eight mini-pitches:

·     Atlanta Habitat for Humanity will use its $75,000 grant to help build a mini-pitch at the Browns Mill Village affordable housing development in Southeast Atlanta.

·     Soccer in the Streets’ $75,000 grant will bring a mini-pitch to the Clarkston community.

·     Calvary Day School, in Savannah, will use its $75,000 grant to help install a mini-pitch at the Outdoor Education Center.

·     Chapel Hill Middle School Department of Athletics, in Decatur, will receive $75,000 to help build a mini-pitch at the school.

·     Sequoyah Middle School Department of Athletics, in Doraville, will use a $75,000 grant to help build a mini-pitch at the school.

·     UPPER90 will receive $50,000 to refurbish a soccer mini-pitch at the English Oaks apartment complex in Clarkston; $30,000 to refurbish a mini-pitch at Clarkston’s Envision Atlanta center; and another $30,000 to build a new soccer mini-pitch at the Gwinnett Estates mobile home community in Loganville. 

“We’re thrilled to be one step closer to reaching our goal of creating up to 100 mini-pitches across Georgia,” said Marco Patrie, Premium Sales Manager and Associate Committee Member, The Atlanta United Foundation. “We want to make soccer accessible to all Georgians, not only for the obvious physical benefits, but also for the community and togetherness these mini-pitches will bring.”

Applications are now open for the third phase of GA 100. 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 soccer mini-pitches, 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.

“Safe, accessible recreation facilities are important to all communities,” said Beverly Smith, LISC’s vice president of Sports and Recreation. “Through GA 100, LISC and The Atlanta United Foundation have the opportunity to bring those critical spaces to communities and will benefit youth and families throughout the state.”

Requests for proposals (RFPs) from communities for the third phase of GA 100 grants will be accepted beginning August 9, 2021. The deadline for proposal submissions is October 29, 2021. For more information and to download the RFP, 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.

About LISC

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.

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