News & Stories

Youth Sports Expanding In Camden Under Cooper-Funded Nonprofit – Philly.com

August 18, 2016 – by Allison Steele

This fall, children who join the Camden Youth Soccer Club will have two fields to play on, twice as many as last year. For $5, they will get uniforms, shin guards, socks, and 10 weeks of Saturday games and practices.

More than 100 new players will be part of the action.

The league’s expansion is the first step taken by the newly formed Camden Health and Athletic Association (CHAA), a youth sports nonprofit launched in June by representatives of the Cooper Foundation, the charitable arm of Cooper University Health Care. The CHAA was announced by George E. Norcross III, the politically powerful head of Cooper University Hospital’s board of trustees, who said he wanted to provide an umbrella of financial support for the city’s
youth teams.

The Camden Youth Soccer Club’s board voted this summer to enter into a partnership with the CHAA. If all goes smoothly, the process will likely become a template for how the organization works with the city’s other groups.

Funded with $1 million from the Cooper Foundation, the CHAA is subsidizing the cost of uniforms, equipment, insurance, and field use for the soccer club. As a result, league organizers cut to $5 the $10 registration fee for returning players and the $35 for first-time players.

“Our goal was to remove barriers for parents,” said Susan Bass Levin of the Cooper Foundation, who said basketball will be the CHAA’s next focus. “We want them to be able to sign their kids up for as many sports as they would like.”

Continue reading here.