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Grant ensures continuation of Soccer for Success through 2015-16 school year

A $250,000 grant has been awarded to continue a soccer program serving more than 1,000 youngsters in Buffalo through the 2015-2016 school year.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation awarded the grant to to the Soccer for Success program, which is run by the Independent Health Foundation, in collaboration with Buffalo Soccer Club and United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. The grant requires a matching contribution from the foundation and commitments from the other organizations.

Soccer for Success uses soccer toward providing structured physical activity and nutrition to children ages 6 to 14 in underserved urban communities. It provides youth with safe places to play after school and has them work with dedicated coach-mentors.

Introduced in May 2012 at 12 sites, the program has expanded to 20 schools, community centers and Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Buffalo.

“Soccer for Success has become a great example of how sports can play an integral role in a child’s development by teaching important life skills,” Carrie Meyer, executive director of the Independent Health Foundation, said in a statement.

Participating students are asked to exercise for 90 minutes a day, three days a week, for 24 weeks during the academic year.