2017 was a remarkable year on the pitch for Atlanta United, but the club is equally committed to making a difference in their community off the field. From youth soccer development to helping raise money and awareness in effort to find a cure for childhood cancer, Atlanta United has done a lot in its inaugural season. Here are some of the highlights:
Next Great Pitch (Apr. 2017)
Announced in April, the Foundation launched an initiative to discover “The Next Great Pitch” in Atlanta. The Atlanta United Foundation requested proposals for iconic, breakthrough ideas for the design and construction of a new mini-pitch in Metro Atlanta and are currently selecting finalists to move on to the next phase of the contest.
The winning project will become a space that accelerates soccer participation and demonstrates how the power of sport can help unite a community.
Good Sports Equipment Donations (May 2017)
The Atlanta United Foundation and Good Sports, a national nonprofit, are joining forces to provide $150,000 worth of brand new soccer equipment and apparel to youth programs and schools across the state of Georgia through two cycles of donations.
These donations will not only aid in the growth of existing programs, but will also provide the opportunity for youth organizations to offer soccer for the first time by removing the barrier of high equipment costs. The initiative is set for two different cycles, and is projected to benefit over 1,000 of Georgia’s youth by providing the balls, uniforms & shin guards needed to get off the sideline and in the game.
Julie Foudy Leadership Academy Scholarships (June 2017)
Ten girls from the Fugees Academy were awarded full scholarships to attend the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy this past June at the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia.
The JFSLA combines a four-night, five-day residential sports camp with a dynamic leadership curriculum for girls, ages 12-18. The focus of the JFSLA is to expose students to a unique curriculum that combines two overlapping components: sports and leadership. Student athletes participate in sport-specific drills followed by a high energy and inspirational classroom setting where they will experience the Academy's leadership development program.
Special Olympics Unified Team (June 2017)
June marked another historic first for the club, as Atlanta United named its first Special Olympics Unified Team. In partnership with Special Olympics Georgia, children living with disabilities got a special opportunity to represent their hometown club. Players got to train at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground, meet with player liaisons Greg Garza and Mark Bloom, stay with the team on a road trip to face Orlando City SC’s Special Olympics Unified team and face Orlando again on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium pitch. This is a league-wide initiative in partnership with Major League Soccer that will continue into next season and beyond. Click here to see the full roster.
Unite & Conquer Cancer
Atlanta United’s Unite & Conquer Cancer campaign ran the entire month of September, with the goal of giving a voice to children and young adults that are fighting or have survived their battle with cancer. In addition, this campaign provided a platform to recognize the great work Atlanta’s hospitals, organizations and non-profits are doing to make strides in pediatric cancer research while providing excellent care to children that are suffering with cancer or terminal illness. The Unite & Conquer Cancer campaign stems from MLS WORKS’ annual Kick Childhood Cancer (KCC) initiative to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research.
To learn more about the Atlanta United Foundation, click here.