Hawthorne, Calif. (Thursday, April 29, 2010) - The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) have announced a national partnership to focus public awareness on the importance of play and its impact on health, wellness, environmental stewardship and youth development.
NRPA and AYSO launched this new partnership recently, during the NRPA's 2010 Legislative Forum meeting in Washington, DC. Advocating on behalf of AYSO, NRPA brought the crucial need for continued park funding for soccer and other fields in communities nationwide to the attention of legislators.
NRPA Chief Executive Officer, Barbara Tulipane, CAE, said, "NRPA welcomes AYSO as a new partner to add to the voices underscoring the importance of physical activity, youth development, and environmental stewardship."
Key elements of the new partnership include:
A combined communications effort using both AYSO's and NRPA's outreach to highlight the importance of healthy communities in terms of AYSO soccer programs in local park and recreation facilities.
Develop targeted research that demonstrates the benefits of youth soccer to the environment, reducing crime and youth development.
Providing an AYSO Soccer in a Box resource that can assist park and recreation departments in expanding their current in-house youth soccer programs or launching new programs to serve their community's families.
"For 46 years, AYSO has been a leader in promoting that play and physical activity are crucial for the health and development of all children," said AYSO National President Mike Wade. "We are very excited to be working with the NRPA, whose 21,000 parks and recreation department members make this their daily mission."
For further information on the AYSO-NRPA partnership and how AYSO Soccer in a Box can work with your community's park and recreation department, visit www.NRPA.org/soccer or contact Pete MacPhail, AYSO Development Manager, at PeteM@ayso.org or (310) 848-5653.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation, and conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people. Touching more than 200 million people across 16,000 public park and recreation agencies represented by 21,000 members, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural open spaces and cultural resources. For more than 40 years, NRPA has been the voice advocating the significance of making parks, open space, and recreational opportunities available to all Americans. Our vision is that, by 2020, every person in America will have convenient access to safe and affordable public park and recreation opportunities. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrec-magazine.org.
AYSO is the largest single-entity youth soccer organization in the U.S. It was founded in 1964 as an all-volunteer association offering an affordable, high quality soccer learning experience. It strives to fulfill its mission to develop and deliver quality youth soccer programs that promote a fun, family environment. AYSO carries out this mission through its six philosophies: Everyone PlaysÂ®, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship, and Player Development. AYSO currently has over 550,000 youth players and 10,000 adult players participating in nearly 1,000 leagues across the United States, including AYSO Affiliate Members such as park and recreation programs.