BOSTON, July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With resources tight in today's economy, school and community sports leagues are feeling the financial pinch and young athletes are feeling the pain. Lack of funding for some programs translates to insufficient equipment and facilities in disrepair; while for some struggling families, the cost of league fees and equipment expenses may be too high for their children to participate. And, according to the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) survey the outlook isn't much rosier: a December 2010 survey found schools around the nation are bracing for additional extracurricular budget cuts this coming year, on the heels of an April 2010 survey that found more than half of school administrators (52 percent) had planned to cut these activities during the last school year. To help alleviate financial burdens for 20 youth sports organizations and schools around the nation and the families in their communities, Liberty Mutual Insurance today announces the spring 2011 recipients of $65,000 in Responsible Sports™ grants.
The grant award program is part of Responsible Sports, a community-based initiative developed by Liberty Mutual in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance and several national youth sports governing bodies. For the past four years, Responsible Sports, through these strategic partnerships and numerous outreach programs, has become a leader in providing resources, tools, tips and advice to youth sports coaches and parents.
Parents, coaches, club and school officials earned the grants through a grassroots effort to get as many community members as possible to complete an online course on sports mentoring at www.ResponsibleSports.com on behalf of their program. Out of hundreds of groups who participated in the program, this elite line up of 20 youth sports organizations and schools across the country earned the most quiz credits, based on population size, to earn the grants:
Youth Sports Organizations ($2,500 Responsible Sports grants each)
- Afton Junior Golf League; Afton, Wyo.
- Carolina Show Ski Team; Tega Cay, S.C.
- Central Missouri Volleyball Club; Jefferson City, Mo.
- Cherokee Pride Softball; Woodstock, Ga.
- Downey FC BU10; Downey, Calif.
- East Bay United Soccer Club; Berkeley, Calif.
- Hype Family Foundation AAU Basketball; Seattle, Wash.
- Kiski Area Soccer League; Apollo, Pa.
- Northshire Hockey Association; Manchester, Vt.
- Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance; Philadelphia, Pa.
- Pickerington Area Soccer Association; Pickerington, Ohio
- Rocklin Girls Fastpitch Softball League; Rocklin, Calif.
- South County Riptides Baseball; Wakefield, R.I.
- Smithfield Youth Soccer Association; Smithfield, R.I.
Schools ($5,000 Responsible Sports grants each)
- Blue Springs South High School; Blue Springs, Mo.
- Hillsdale High School; San Mateo, Calif.
- North Smithfield High School; North Smithfield, R.I.
- Park View High School; South Hill, Va.
- Union Ridge School; Harwood Heights, Ill.
- Woodland Hills High School - Cheerleading; Pittsburgh, Pa.
"These 20 youth organizations and schools have established a relationship between the playing field, the sidelines and the stands that is creating a positive experience for their athletes and communities," said Greg Gordon, Liberty Mutual Insurance senior vice president, Consumer Marketing. "By doing so, they've also been able to earn increasingly hard-to-find funding for their organizations."
More than $415,000 in Support for Youth Sports Organizations
Since its creation in 2007, the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports Program has provided more than $415,000 in funding to nearly 150 youth sports organizations and schools 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. Liberty Mutual created the Responsible Sports program as a means to celebrate the positive impact that every day, responsible actions can have on our youth as well as support the volunteer youth sports coaches and parents who help our children succeed both on and off the field.
Another round of Responsible Sports Grants will open in the 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 September 1 and November 30 will be eligible to win the grants.
Searching for the Top 10 Responsible Sports Moments of 2011
Throughout 2011, Liberty Mutual and PCA will be searching for demonstrations of extraordinary sportsmanship, sacrifice and selflessness at the youth sports and amateur sports levels and celebrating those moments on www.ResponsibleSports.com and the program's Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/ResponsibleSports. The public can learn more, as well as nominate their own Responsible Sports moments with descriptions, photos or videos at www.Facebook.com/ResponsibleSports.
The 2011 "Top 10 Responsible Sports Moments" will be chosen from all nominations by a voting panel comprised of representatives from Responsible Sports partner organizations, PCA and Liberty Mutual. Liberty Mutual will honor each of the ten youth sports organizations that initiate or are the focus of each "Top 10 Responsible Sports Moment" with $1,000 awards in December.
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 the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on A.M. Best Company's report of 2010 net written premium. The Group ranks 82nd on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2010 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 13,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
SOURCE Liberty Mutual Insurance