Project Kick Start

Project Kick Start, ABYSA’s expanded outreach program, just celebrated its three-year anniversary this past May. Each year, Project Kick Start provides over 800 at-risk children in Asheville with the opportunity to be involved in soccer or other team sports. Through the game of soccer, we strive to provide these children with the health and social benefits of youth team sports.

Project Kick Start offers the benefits of physical exercise, healthy snack opportunities, team-building, skill acquisition and mastery, life skills development, team participation, self confidence development, and confliction resolution skills—to a target population of low-income, at-risk children youth who are otherwise neglected by other youth sports organizations.

This summer marks the start of ABYSA’s third year partnering with Asheville Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts’ Summer Playground Program. The program delivers eight weeks of soccer to 450 children at 10 recreation centers throughout the city of Asheville and Buncombe County. During each session, coaches implement activities that challenge children physically, encourage their creativity, and foster their cooperation.

For the past two years, we have partnered with Children First’s Project March to implement 10 weeks of soccer programming during the spring and fall for 40 children living in the Pisgah View, Deaverview, and Woodrige neighborhoods. In addition to an hour of fun and enriching soccer activities each week, coaches also meet with the children to help with homework.

ABYSA has received only positive feedback for all of these programs and will continue to work to fulfill their mission: “To provide children in Asheville and Buncombe County with the health, social, and developmental benefits of youth team sports in an age appropriate and emotionally safe environment.”