Manchester Parks and Recreation announced on Dec. 22 it has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation, whose programs serve as the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. This grant is intended to fund LED lighting on two of the soccer fields at the Manchester Sports Complex. Manchester Parks and Recreation was one of 12 organizations to receive grants.

This grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a wonderful opportunity to expand soccer play for youth and adults of all ages and backgrounds by expanding the availability of our fields for play with the lighting. We will also be able to attract tournaments because of the ability to play at night and host more teams. Bonnie Gamble, Director Manchester Parks and Recreation.

 The Soccer Fields at the Manchester Sports Complex is undergoing the third phase of development with the addition of LED lighting and restrooms.  The complex with the restrooms and lights will become a complex capable of hosting tournaments and expand soccer play in Manchester and Coffee County.

This grant was awarded as part of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Safe Places to Play program. Across the U.S., children living in underserved communities often lack safe places to play in their neighborhoods, either due to absence of space or absence of funding. The Safe Places to Play grant program seeks to provide kids with safe and accessible areas to play by funding the costs of design, construction, surfacing, and enhancement in these communities through three grant cycles during the year.

Support for the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s grant process is provided by the Foundation’s corporate partners, including AstroTurf, Hunter Industries, Musco Lighting, and Sport Court.