Community organizations, schools, and parks in 14 cities and towns across the country are using $1.275 million in new grants from The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation to improve sports facilities in under-resourced neighborhoods.
The awards represent the first round of funding through the Game On-Community Places to Play Initiative, a partnership of The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The program selected 15 non-profit community-based organizations to receive grants ranging between $50,000 and $100,000 to advance sports renovation projects in low- and moderate-income communities.
"We are thrilled these communities will be able to offer revitalized sports spaces to deserving athletes across the country," said Rick Jordan, vice president of The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation. "We are proud of this partnership and believe that the rejuvenation of sports facilities is not just an investment in infrastructure, but an investment in the future of youth athletes."
Grantees were selected through a competitive application process administered by LISC earlier this year, which required applicants to secure 1:1 match funding. In addition to managing the grant program, LISC will provide technical assistance to grantees to help them move projects forward.
"Sports teaches young people about teamwork and community, all while nurturing healthy bodies and minds," said Beverly Smith, LISC vice president. "We are so glad The DICK's Sporting Goods Foundation joined with us to invest in creating safe, quality sports facilities where youth and their families can play, exercise and spend time together."
Grants will be used to meet a range of renovation needs. The 15 organizations selected to receive funding through the Game On-Community Places to Play Initiative include:
- Brooke Charter Schools (Boston, Mass.): Transform an unused four-acre portion of the former Boston State Hospital grounds into athletic fields and outdoor space.
- Highline Public Schools (Burien, Wash.): Install additional lighting for six tennis courts at Highline High School.
- The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio): Build new outdoor basketball courts at Blanchetta Park in Colerain Township.
- The Urban Community School (Cleveland, Ohio): Create two mini pitch soccer fields on its campus in the Near West Side.
- The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas (Dallas, Texas): Install a natural grass multi-purpose athletic field and sprinkler system at its Grand Prairie Club.
- Detroit Horse Power (Detroit, Mich.): Build and activate an equestrian center for youth at a demolished school site in the Hope Village neighborhood.
- KIPP Bold City High School (Jacksonville, Fla.): Develop an athletic field for football and other community sports programs.
- Memphis Business Academy Schools (Memphis, Tenn.): Install an outdoor natural grass multipurpose athletic field on its campus in the Frayser neighborhood.
- The Police Athletic League (New York, N.Y.): Renovate and repurpose an undersized and underutilized gymnasium in Washington Heights into a multi-sport training facility.
- Nicetown Community Development Corporation (Philadelphia, Pa.): Install four basketball courts on underutilized land in the Nicetown neighborhood.
- The Kingsley Association (Pittsburgh, Pa.): Renovate the gymnasium at its facility in the Larimer neighborhood.
- The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, Pa.): Renovate a baseball and softball facility at its Shadyside Clubhouse.
- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego (San Diego, Calif.): Resurface the soccer arena at its branch in the Logan Heights neighborhood.
- Spokane Hoopfest Association (Spokane, Wash.): Resurface two existing basketball courts and convert an unused tennis court into pickleball courts in the East Central neighborhood.
- The Wichita Parks Foundation (Wichita, Kan.): Install programmable lighting at the largest baseball field at McAdams Park.
LISC is one of the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $29.7 billion to create more than 489,000 affordable homes and apartments, develop 81.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space and help tens of thousands of people find employment and improve their finances. For more, visit www.lisc.org.