Chivas USA of Major League Soccer has teamed up with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the LA84 Foundation to help preserve high school soccer at 68 local schools.
The major donation made by Chivas USA will provide funding for boys and girls soccer programs, at the varsity and junior varsity levels, keeping high school soccer intact for more than 5300 LAUSD students.
"Chivas USA is committed to Los Angeles in a way that goes far beyond simply making this donation," said Chivas USA President and CEO Shawn Hunter. "This will be the beginning of a great partnership with LAUSD, and we are excited for the opportunity to help build and maintain strong high school soccer programs that coaches, students, and families can be proud of."
Chivas USA's partnership with LAUSD was announced at Thursday's Save our Sports (SOS) press conference at the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles. A number of organizations, including Chivas USA, the LA84 Foundation, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Nike, and other companies and individuals, joined together to raise more than $1.3 million to pay coaches stipends in all 14 sports offered in the district. Chivas USA's major donation goes directly to the boys and girls soccer programs throughout Los Angeles, and will also include future collaboration between the soccer club and LAUSD.
"We are extremely grateful to all those who generously gave to SOS," said LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia. "We know that sports provide motivation for many students to stay in school and will assist us in our goal of a 100% graduation rate."
Facing a $640 million deficit in the 2010-2011 school year, LAUSD instituted a 25% across-the-board budget cut that would reduce funding for coaches and endanger all competitive athletics at LAUSD high schools. When made aware of the cut, LA civic and philanthropic leaders, with the help of the LA84 Foundation, a non-profit institution dedicated to the development of youth sport in Southern California, joined together to help raise the $1.3 million necessary to support over 35,000 student athletes in 72 schools across the city.