Roger Levesque giving kids soccer skills at the Rave Foundation’s launch event at Yesler Community Center, last July.  Photo by Stephanie Steiner

October 10th, 2016

by Karl Picard

 The first hour of the October Alliance meeting was a discussion around the Rave Foundation provided by Maya Mendoza-Exstrom – General Counsel for Sounders and Executive Director of Rave Foundation.  The Rave Foundation is the charitable arm of the Sounders FC that was started in 2013 internally but official launched to the public in July 2016.  They are a 501 c3 and a close partner to the for-profit Sounders.  They have been working on community outreach and hosting events for kids and communities to get people playing soccer and getting soccer balls into the hands of young people.

For 2017 they will be focused on the following areas: building urban accessible fields (small soccer fields) in the communities that need access to soccer facilities, and creating a culture where pickup soccer can happen – not just the organized, pay to play soccer opportunities for youth.  One such field that has been already built it at Beverly Park Elementary where they built a mini-pitch.

They have big goals over the next 10 years, 5 community small fields, 2 Seattle community-centric small fields (targeting iconic areas), distribute soccer balls (10,000) to area kids,  and continue supporting pop-up games to encourage free play anywhere.  The Foundation wants to remove barriers to participate in soccer, strengthen the communities, and all the ways soccer helps address challenges in our communities.

Yesler Terrace is the first location for the Rave fields (park around the Yesler Community Center). The field will support full field as well as split field games with goals on both ends and sides of the field.  It’s going to be a unique location in Seattle and model for parks going forward.  Not many places in the immediate area have access to soccer fields plus the right leadership and advocates in the community, therefore making this a great location for the first field.

Next up is bringing the Rave field to Pier 62 at the waterfront. There will be a semi-permanent soccer field that will be similar to the Yesler size.  This is the doorstep to Seattle and contributes to the culture of the city.

The Rave Foundation has given out 292 soccer balls and held 83 popup games to date.  They will be working on fundraising and the next locations for Rave fields by reaching out to communities and their leaders.

The remaining hour was spent finalizing some items around the Constitution and By-Law changes (which likely everyone reading this has seen by now), discussion around the scarf vote (over 4,ooo people placed their vote) and the Annual Business meeting, which is scheduled for 11/2. Executive Committee Member, Martin Buckley created this nifty survey if you don’t want to use SSFC’s or your question is longer than 150 characters.