With resources tight in today’s economy, school and community sports leagues are not immune from feeling the financial pinch. According to an April 2010 American Association of School Administrators survey, more than half of school administrators (52 percent) planned to cut extracurricular activities in 2010-11, a significant increase from 2009-10 (18 percent).
To help ensure its youth athletes won’t suffer a similar fate, the Bryant Youth Soccer Club rallied together to earn a $2,500 grant from Liberty Mutual Insurance to improve its practice and game facilities, and hire professional trainers to help young soccer players improve their skills.[more]
How did they do it? Parents, coaches, and club officials earned the grant through a grassroots effort to get as many community members as possible to complete an online course on sports mentoring. The course comes from the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports Program, an online community found at www.ResponsibleSports.com that helps adults maximize the positive role they play in young athletes’ lives, through helpful blogs, videos, curriculum, and podcasts featuring sports legends such as Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.
“The Bryant Youth Soccer Club has demonstrated a clear commitment to helping kids understand the life lessons youth sports have to offer,” said Julie Brassard, Manager, Marketing Communications for Liberty Mutual. “By engaging in the Responsible Sports dialogue, parents and coaches have built a true alliance on the sidelines that creates a positive experience for their athletes and community. And by doing so, they’ve also been able to earn increasingly hard-to-find funding for their club.”
The Bryant Youth Soccer Club is among an elite group of 21 youth sports organizations and schools across the country that completed enough quizzes to earn the $2,500 grant. The Responsible Sports Program is a partnership between Liberty Mutual, Positive Coaching Alliance, and a number of national youth sport organizations, including US Youth Soccer and American Youth Soccer Organization.
Need Funding? Another $65,000 in Grants Now Available
Liberty Mutual recently opened a new round of Responsible Sports Grants, for this fall. Once again, the 20 youth sports organizations and schools who promote the highest level of participation in the Responsible Sports online quiz at www.ResponsibleSports.com between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30 will be eligible to win the grants. Liberty Mutual will award $2,500 grants to 14 youth sports organizations and $5,000 grants to six school programs.
More than $300,000 in Support for Youth Sports Organizations
Since its creation in 2007, the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports Program has provided more than $300,000 in funding to youth sports organizations and coaches across the United States.
Liberty Mutual’s Responsible Sports Grants have helped pay for new equipment and uniforms, renovations to practice facilities, and scholarships that cover league costs for children in need.
About the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports Program: The Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports program, created in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance, the Amateur Softball Association, USA Hockey, US Youth Soccer, the American Youth Soccer Organization and USA Wrestling – provides resources for parents and coaches at www.responsiblesports.com to help children reap the full benefits of playing a team sport. The online community incorporates blogs, videos, and podcasts on youth sports topics that provide practical, real-world advice. Parents and coaches also can complete coursework that offers best practices for handling challenging sports scenarios.
About Liberty Mutual: “Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is a diversified global insurer and fifth-largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2009 direct written premium. Liberty Mutual Group ranks 71st on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2009 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (www.libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 12,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.