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Charlotte Independence continue community soccer clinics
Second clinic is Oct. 31 at Keith Family YMCA
Published Monday, October 19, 2020 5:09 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

The Charlotte Independence will hold the second in a series of community soccer clinics Oct. 31 at Keith Family YMCA.

A year of free community clinics continues for the Charlotte Independence.

The second will take place on Oct. 31 at the Keith Family YMCA (8100 Old Mallard Creek Road) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., with a 40-participant capacity. The clinic is part of their One Club, One Love initiative, which is a collaboration between the USL Championship team and their youth organization. They kicked off the program with their first clinic in August. Clinics are designed for children ages 6-12, encouraging them to pursue a healthy lifestyle through physical fitness and nutrition. Attendees are provided with lunch from Famous Toastery or Chick-fil-A, soccer equipment from Dick’s Sporting Goods, masks and health and wellness resources from Novant Health. Each clinic will benefit one of two local nonprofits, Heal Charlotte or One7Ministrities, each of which address socioeconomic disparities.

“With our youth club, our first team players and our corporate partners, we will deliver 18 to 24 clinics in the next year, to impact many young lives in our community,” Independence Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Tim Schuldt said earlier this year.

Said Heal Charlotte Founder Greg Jackson: “We’re going to give this experience to the kids—outdoors activities in the middle of a pandemic. We will be safe. Novant Health is a partner. We’ll have our masks. We’ll have our hand sanitizer—all of those things that you need to be socially responsible. But the kids absolutely need something to do outside, especially on a holiday when they are used to being able to go trick-or-treating. I feel so sorry for them, and this is our way of saying, ‘here is something to do. Play some soccer. Get some candy. Have a great time.’”

Throughout the regular season, goalkeeper Brandon Miller and defender Hugh Roberts used games as a fundraising forum to benefit Heal Charlotte’s $10 million capital campaign to address the lack of affordable housing in Charlotte. The goal is to reclaim a motel on Regan Drive and transform it into affordable housing. The campaign is closing in on raising the first $1 million, with a goal of reaching $10 million by summer 2021.

“It is an affordable housing crisis, and that means that it is an emergent need for housing that ground-up construction cannot fix, because that comes with a two-year plan,” Jackson said. “We are launching a capital campaign so we can buy already put together properties—an actual hotel on I-85 and Sugar Creek [Road]. We want to acquire it, revitalize it [and] then use it for affordable housing, social entrepreneurship, and also learning development for kids K-12 who will be living on the property. We believe this type of innovative thinking in housing is something that can address the immediate problem, and start getting people housed now.”

Said Miller in a statement: “I’m really excited heading into our second clinic with Heal Charlotte. The response on both ends was very inspiring. The club and their sponsors have gone out of their way to make it a great day for the kids involved, which is amazing to see. We are really looking forward to building a great relationship with the Charlotte community.”

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