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FundPlay Highlight: This Quarter’s Winning Youth Sports Organizations

By Melissa Wickes

youth development organizations q2

Since 2016, LeagueApps has given back to organizations that provide youth sports experiences to the kids who need them most. Our FundPlay program provides these organizations with software licenses, cash grants, and professional development to ensure accessibility for all.

Our efforts to increase access to youth sports in underserved communities don’t stop there.

Last week, the LeagueApps co-founded PLAY Sports Coalition (PLAYS) helped to create a Congressional bill that would establish a $75 million annual grant program to support nonprofit organizations working to improve positive health and development through youth sports and participation, introduced by Congressman Colin Allred

You can read more about the PLAYS Act and what it would do for youth sports nonprofits all over the country here. 

Now, let’s take a look at the grantees for the second quarter of this year.

The Winning Youth Sports Organizations

New Vision Urban Impact

This organization focuses its work on community involvement and authentic relationships—through life development training, student mentorship, workshops, and tournaments like the City Heights World Cup. 

Bottlenoses, Inc. 

Founded in 2020, Bottlenoses, Inc. aims to bolster girls who play soccer and keep them in the game as long as possible. The team is led by juggling expert, pro beach soccer player, and coach Louise Arseneault; health and wellbeing leader Emily Shiers; world-class nutritionist Reily Beatty; and psychologist Marcella Chiromo who specializes in youth development. They offer programs designed to instill confidence in young women while fine-tuning their soccer skills.

National High School Basketball Association

This nonprofit was founded with the goal of providing a safe space for youth to develop physically, emotionally, and intellectually through basketball. The program focuses on practical life skills that will help them graduate from high school and lead them to success in college or trade school and adult life. Learn more about the program by watching the video below:

Pass It Forward Foundation

This foundation works to transform the lives of youth and young adults by empowering their communities with resources through the art of sports. Through transformative work in the artistic expression of sports and youth development, Pass it Forward Foundation aims to nurture and sustain communities where youth—regardless of economic or racial backgrounds—are leaders engaging positively in their communities.

Pittsburgh Hardball Academy

This baseball and softball academy works to increase diversity and inclusion in baseball and softball by removing barriers to entry. Pittsburgh Hardball Academy is open to student-athletes from a variety of backgrounds, neighborhoods, and income levels—with a focus on accessibility and delivery to underserved and underrepresented youth.  

Step It Up Camp

Step it Up Camp is motivated to provide all youth in underrepresented neighborhoods throughout Snohomish and King County with a safe, positive, and welcoming environment. The programs are designed to educate youth with critical life skills and physical and emotional development.  Camps are offered for volleyball, tennis, flag football, running, softball, basketball, soccer, technology, and swimming.

The Salvation Army St. Paul

The Salvation Army of St. Paul helps underserved communities meet their needs through child development, food banks, utility assistance, general funding, and youth programming—like summer camps and basketball camps.

Wardogs Elite Athletics

Wardogs Elite Athletics offers football and cheer programs—but they do not solely focus on the game. They are passionate about the idea that participation in sports teaches youth many lessons critical to personal development, like building character, heightening moral standards, and instilling a strong work ethic. 

Project Opportunity

Project Opportunity works with young people to instill values and skills that can help them become exceptional community leaders—through sport! The organization is committed to providing assistance to disadvantaged minority youth in Hawthorne, California. 

South Coast Youth Football

South Coast Youth Football offers flag and tackle football as well as cheerleading in a program where academics and athletics go together. Players are recognized for their academic achievement at the local, conference, and national levels. 

Ihanktonwan Ohitika Basketball

This nonprofit organization is dedicated to the youth of the Ihanktonwan Oyate by providing opportunities to enjoy basketball while instilling honor, courage, and commitment in the players. 

La Liga del Barrio

Philadelphia’s first Latino Youth Basketball League has been around for 21 years. La Liga del Barrio offers Latino youth in Philadelphia an opportunity to develop their basketball skills while achieving educational milestones. It’s open to girls and boys ages 6-18 and young adults ages 19-25, with 32 teams per season. 

Power Project

Power Project aims to provide guidance to girls from underserved communities by offering them the opportunity to grow through mentorship and positive life imagery. Through ice hockey and the dedication of strong role models, Power Project aims to strengthen self-esteem and grow young girls into future leaders. 

Roberto Clemente Foundation

The Roberto Clemente Foundation is building nations of good by helping at-risk youth, through disaster relief, and by promoting service leadership. Besides being passionate about baseball, the SBYD also helps kids with service leadership opportunities in their communities and schools.

Get On The Bus

Get On The Bus breaks down financial and transportation barriers so that kids can play recreational soccer on a team in their community while also learning valuable life skills and good study habits. Their goal is to graduate 10,000 kids by World Cup 2026.

Nominate a Youth Sports Development Organization

If you know an incredible sports-based youth development organization that’s impacting the lives of underserved youth and deserves a FundPlay grant, you can nominate them here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Wickes

Melissa Wickes is a Copywriter for LeagueApps with years of experience writing for parenting publications, marketing blogs, and more within the content marketing space. When Melissa isn't writing, she's eating pasta or playing the guitar.
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