Mayor Duggan and Detroit PAL Kick Off “Goal Detroit” Soccer League for Detroit Elementary School Students
Mayor Duggan, Detroit PAL, and Detroit public and charter elementary schools today launched the inaugural season of the “Goal Detroit” soccer league at Henry Ford Academy. The new league is comprised of approximately 700 students from 44 teams representing 15 Detroit Public Schools (DPS) and charter elementary schools across Detroit.
Mayor Duggan, a former youth soccer coach, has been working on the plans since shortly after he took office in January. The Mayor recently hired Shawn Blanchard to serve as his youth services director and spearhead the creation of the league as one of his first projects. Soccer leagues traditionally have been embraced more in suburban communities, but the Mayor felt the time was right to bring the game to Detroit students at a new level.
“Soccer is one of the world’s most popular sports but until now, Detroit students largely have not had the same opportunity to participate in it,” Mayor Duggan said. “Team sports in general are great fun and exercise, but they also help build self confidence and develop teamwork and leadership skills,” Mayor Duggan added.
Opening Day is Saturday, September 27th, and the season will run through November 1st. Weekly games will be played at the following city parks: Coleman Young, Farwell, Patton and Milan.
The league is open to all Detroit elementary schools, whether public, private or charter. Initial response has been so strong that the new league already is full for the fall season. League coordinators say the new league will add capacity to bring on more schools for the spring 2015 season and more schools already are on the waiting list.
Detroit PAL, which has teamed up with the Mayor’s Office and Detroit public and charter schools, is the facilitator of the league, which will host weekly games during September thru November. The teams will be grouped as follows:
- First and second grade
- Third and fourth grade
- Fifth grade
"Detroit PAL is thrilled to team up with the Mayor and elementary schools across Detroit to provide this awesome new soccer league for boys and girls.” said Tim Richey, CEO of Detroit
PAL “With the Mayor's help, Detroit PAL will continue to serve more and more kids in quality after-school athletic programs designed to build character and self-esteem."
How do students register?
Students and coaches can register by contacting the Detroit PAL Office at (313) 833-1600, Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or email Shay Lewis at [email protected]
What PAL will provide:
- Half the cost of registration fees
- Uniforms (Jersey, Shorts & Socks)
- Coaches Training
- Shin Guards
- Player Clinic
- Equipment (balls, ball bags, cones)
- Game Day Playing Fields
- Soccer goals & maintenance
- Awards and Trophies
Individuals who commit to serving as a team coach for the season will receive a $500 stipend through the Mayor’s office.
What schools will need to provide:
- Team manager to serve as a contact person (this can also be the coach)
- Practice Space
- Registration fee for team (The Mayor’s Office pays half of the registration fee):
$250 for 1st & 2nd Grade teams – You only pay $125
$350 for 3rd & 4th Grade teams – You only pay $175
$350 for 5th Grade teams – You only pay $175
The results of the league games will be posted on the City of Detroit website (www.DetroitMi.gov) each Monday, so people can see how each school is doing.
Questions? Call Shay Lewis at (313) 833-1600 ext. 211 or [email protected]