On Saturday, May 27, Sporting KC Youth Soccer hosted nearly 600 players for the first-ever Sporting KC 5v5 Fest benefitting The Victory Project at Central Bank Sporting Complex.
The one-day, festival style event raised over $15,000 for The Victory Project’s Soccer Assist Grant program, which aims to ensure that every player, team, and club organization can have access to soccer, regardless of financial background.
“A massive thank you to all the players, coaches, referees and families who helped make the first annual Sporting KC 5v5 Fest a success,” said Dan Popik, Sporting KC Vice President of Youth Sports Properties. “The festival offered a fun and exciting soccer experience, while also raising money and collecting soccer equipment to support the Victory Project’s Soccer for All initiative.”
In addition to raising money, donations of gently used cleats and soccer balls were collected throughout the day as part of the Recycle Your Game initiative, which distributes soccer equipment to local players in need.
“The Soccer Assist Grant, launched in 2022 by The Victory Project, was one of our solutions to help provide more access to soccer to those with financial needs,” said Chioma Atanmo, Sporting KC Director of Community Impact. “With this $15,000 donation and soccer equipment, more kids in our backyard get to continue to play the sport we love. We’re thankful to our Sporting KC Youth Soccer team and everyone else who participated in this event. The impact will be long lasting!”
In total, 66 teams participated across the 1st and 2nd grade recreational and U8 – U13 competitive divisions.
In a true festival-style format, instead of championship matches, teams had the option to play a bonus fourth match. Additionally, 5v5 Fest included unique game rules, including vintage dribble-up penalties and kick-ins to resume play from out-of-bounds to help players see the game differently and create new experiences.
Sporting KC players Felipe Hernandez and Cam Duke also made an appearance during the event to sign autographs and take photos with players and their families.
“Sporting 5v5 Fest was definitely a success,” said Sporting KC Youth Competitions Manager Alec Smith. “I’m so glad that we were able to raise money and donate to the Victory Project, and I’m thrilled that our players and families had such a memorable experience kicking off Summer 2023 with us.”
At SKC Youth small-sided summer tournaments, players and their families can enjoy all the benefits of a full tournament in one day of action-packed summer soccer. Teams can be made up of groups of friends, classmates, or neighbors, and can get creative with their names and uniforms!
The second small-sided summer tournament of 2023, Sporting Legends 3v3, will be held July 15-16 at Swope Soccer Village. Learn more and register at SportingKCYouth.com/Sporting-Legends-3v3.