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Building Healthy Communities Soccer for Success Model
The Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade and CoachArt have formed a new collaborative partnership that will debut in the upcoming Spring 2013 Soccer For Success season. Through this partnership, children and adolescents with chronic and life threatening illnesses will participate in Soccer for Success, a uniquely innovative sports-based youth development program designed to combat childhood obesity, reduce youth violence, promote healthier life style choices, and increase family & community engagement.
"We are extremely excited about this partnership," said Diandra Bremond, MPP, Brotherhood Crusade director of Sports Programming. "Too often children and youth are cruelly disenfranchised or excluded due to differences that have been negatively fabricated into a rationale for prejudicial separation. This partnership represents a major step in overcoming that barrier and simultaneously teaching our students that such prejudices should not exist."
According to the University of Michigan, 15 to 18% of children are living with a chronic illness. The depth of the emotional effects these illnesses can have is immeasurable but significant. As such, there is an urgent need for collaborative initiatives such as the Building Healthy Communities Health Happens Here Soccer For Success program, that provide opportunity, build confidence, increase self esteem and uplift these youth. In addition to accomplishing these goals, the Soccer for Success partnership aims to promote socialization and create a sense of independence for the lives of the youth that are affected.
Another barrier for chronically ill youth in South Los Angeles is poverty. Indeed, the median household income in the region is just $14,000 annually. Accordingly, providing Soccer for Success free to all of the more than 1,500 children and youth who will participate in 2013 is a necessary investment, the impact of which will produce both short- and long-term benefits to the participants, their families and the community as a whole. The partnership serves as a necessary tool for the many youth in South Los Angeles with chronic illnesses to enjoy a safe place to play as well as assume normality in their lives.
This type of inclusion is innovative and not widely employed in the South Los Angeles region.
"CoachArt values this collaboration as our goal is to provide more athletic opportunities for chronically ill youth living in these 'at promise' communities," said Kai Tramiel, MBA, CoachArt Outreach Director. "Being able to include CoachArt kids in Soccer for Success is a true gift. With this partnership, we will be able to match as many as 20 children currently on our waiting list. Our kids can't wait to start playing!".
"Brotherhood Crusade and CoachArt have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality," Bremond said. "However, we must recognize all of the Health Happens Here Soccer for Success partners whose commitment and dedication allows us to serve our community in a meaningful way - U.S. Soccer Foundation; The California Endowment; Leon Lowenstein Foundation; California Community Foundation PAT; CalSouth Foundation; Los Angeles Unified School District; Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department EXPO Center; LA's Promise; Weingart YMCA; St. Johns Well Child and Family Center; Microsoft; Verizon; and Nestle USA."