66 Warren Elementary students receive free soccer gear and coaching at SKY Soccer Club

Warren Elementary students received free soccer equipment and eight weeks of training at SKY Soccer Club.
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:41 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - A partnership with Get On the Bus and SKY Soccer Club allowed 66 Warren Elementary students to receive new cleats, jerseys, shin guards, and soccer balls, at Dick’s Sporting Goods, as well as eight weeks of coaching and mentoring at SKY Soccer Club, free of charge.

“We have so many students that do not get the opportunity to play because of the pay-to-play model. So they can’t afford it, and they can’t get there. And so, when we have registration, we track what schools they go to, and we know that at Warren Elementary, we have almost zero kids registered in our programs,” said Keiliah Prater, administrative director for SKY Soccer.

For the next eight weeks, the students will receive coaching from licensed coaches, as well as mentorship through SKY Soccer. According to Prater, SKY Soccer’s mission aims to create exceptional players, both on and off the field.

“It means the world to them, I know all the kids at recess that’s all they do, we have a miniature soccer field out there. So now, they get to play actually at Warren Central,” said Warren Elementary Principal Marlow Hazard.

Chase Embry, president of SKY Soccer, says that this will be the first opportunity for many of the students to officially play the sport that they grew up learning.

“A lot of these kids have a soccer background, refugee-type kids that are able to come here and already pick it up, so to get them to a field with lines and goals, and to be able to coach them with licensed coaches, I think that just expands their opportunity,” said Embry.

Club organizers say that the event first began developing in 2021 when SKY Soccer met with Get On the Bus representatives at the National Soccer Convention. They agreed on a need for community outreach opportunities through soccer in the community. Now that the plan has come to fruition, the groups hope to expand it further.

“We’re hoping to not only expand it to the fall, but we’re hoping to expand grades and schools, and go to other schools, because there’s another Title I schools that could use the same opportunity,” said Prater.

Prater says that opportunities like this are made possible through donations to the nonprofit and that anybody is welcome to give back to make further giving programs possible.