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Allstate and U.S. Soccer Foundation taking sport to underserved communities

A new partnership strives to collect and redistribute soccer equipment

There is an evolving yet complex system in the United States when it comes to youth sports participation and who actually participates and in which sports. Studies show that children in underserved communities are less likely to participate in youth sports such as soccer.

The lack of participation is mainly associated with economic barriers including money, time and access to physical resources. According to 2014 data by the UF Sport Policy and Research Collaborative, youths who have access to financial resources are much more likely to participate in and gain from organized youth sports in American society.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Passback program wants to lighten the load on families who wish to involve their children in youth soccer and reap the benefits of youth sports. It will partner with AllState Insurance Co. to collect and redistribute more than 1 million pieces of soccer equipment to youths in underserved communities throughout the United States.

Allstate shares a mutual passion for soccer. It supports grassroots community soccer initiatives for soccer fans and players and is an official sponsor of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Mexican National Team (MNT).

“We are thrilled to partner with Passback to make a lasting impact on the soccer community and support future generations of this great sport,” said Pam Hollander, vice president of marketing for Allstate Insurance Co.

Throughout the year, Allstate will host community collection events across the country. Allstate and the Passback program will distribute Soccer.com gift cards to those who make a donation on-site at one of the scheduled Allstate events. Allstate will also match community contributions by donating 1,500 new soccer balls to be handed out along with donated equipment and gear to youth leagues across the country.

“The Passback program allows people who love soccer to recycle their gear and enrich the lives of children at the same time,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, president and CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.