Soccer City is a New World Class Facility Giving Kids in Denver and Aurora a Kick Start

Soccer City is a new world-class facility in Aurora that serves as both a community hub and the base of operations for The Colorado Soccer Foundation.  Soccer City is giving kids in Denver and Aurora a kick start to play soccer plus a lot more!

COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE AT SOCCER CITY THIS WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27th

Soccer City
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

This Wednesday, October 27th, the Colorado Soccer Foundation is hosting an open house at Soccer City in East Aurora at 15960 E. Colfax Avenue, Aurora, Colorado 80011. The event is sponsored by Civitas Resources, Inc., and co-hosted by Colorado State Senator Rhonda Fields and City of Aurora Councilmember Curtis Gardner.

Wednesday’s open house is a great opportunity to learn more about Soccer City and ways to help support kids through soccer.

We recently caught up with Soccer City’s Director of Development Jodi Asarch who gave us a look into this amazing new facility on East Colfax and its mission.

WHAT IS SOCCER CITY?

the fields at Soccer City
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

Q: What is Soccer City?
A. A new community soccer facility for pick-up play. We provide access to kids throughout the community to help them play soccer and enjoy a positive after-school experience.

Q. Is Soccer City modeled after another project in a different city?
A. Soccer City is a unique project, the first of its kind.

Q. What is Soccer City’s main focus?
A. Our focus is two-fold.  First is a centralized focus on our pick-up play model to give neighborhood kids a safe fun place for recreation. We work with community partners that engage with immigrants and underserved communities- partners like Village Exchange Center and Denver’s The Youth Empowerment Agency.

“Another thing we do that really lights up people’s lives is providing training and hiring kids to referee.”

Partnering with The Positive Coaching Alliance helps us focus on life lessons both on and off the field.

The second part of our focus is decentralized engagement – running soccer after-school programs with 21 elementary schools throughout the metro area. All the schools served have 85% or more of its students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. We currently work with 600 kids and we are looking to grow even bigger.

Kids having fun at Soccer City
Photo courtesy of Soccer City, Jordan Collins Photographer

SOCCER CITY’S FUNDING AND COSTS

Photo courtesy of Soccer City, Jordan Collins Photographer

Q. How is it funded?
A. It started with a generous donation from the Swallow Charitable Foundation, and we have gained community-wide support since its inception.

Q. Do kids pay to play?
A. Yes, there is a subsidized buy-in.  Kids pay $35 to $50 for the year that includes a jersey.  The actual cost to provide the coaching, facility, and opportunity is $250 per kid. We work with people to make sure we don’t turn kids in need away. We’ve even seen some of the coaches who are also teachers pay for some of their kids because they believe so strongly in the program.

Q&A WITH DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, JODI ASARCH

Photo by Jenn Dechtman

Q. What’s your why and how did you get involved?
A. I was playing soccer with the Executive Director, and he told me about the new facility that was being built and the mission. He had me at, “Colorado Soccer Foundation!”  I needed to be a part!

Q. You seem really passionate about soccer. What’s your background?
A. I started playing soccer when I was five. I played Varsity Soccer at Cherry Creek High School. Also in high school, I played for a team that went to U-19 Nationals. Later, I played D1 Women’s Soccer for the University of California, Santa Barbara. I currently play in a women’s league and with pick-up soccer once a week, which is where I met the Director of the Colorado Soccer Foundation. I really love coaching too. Currently, I am the women’s soccer coach for a local private high school.

Q: Tell us about your education and work background?
A. My educational background is in environmental public policy. After receiving my undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara, I obtained a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. I worked on environmental projects for the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, and the Colorado Governor’s Office.  This experience brought me to turn my focus to grant writing and to help fund programs that benefit the next generation.

Q. How did you get into fundraising and development?
A. I ran the teen sports program at Denver’s Jewish Community Center for 7 years and worked as the Major Gifts Officer for part of that time.  Helping find new funding sources for after-school programs was a big focus.  I love seeing kids find their passion for all kinds of sports.  I was especially involved with the JCC’s Maccabee program. It was really rewarding to see more and more Denver kids participate in this nationwide youth competition.

Now working at the Colorado Soccer Foundation, I am able to take my passion for helping kids play sports to a new level.

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