SKC Shines Through Community OutreachSporting KC took an extra step into its community in the 2013 season
by Katherine Rupp | Friday, January 03, 2014
The year of 2013 was a great one for Sporting Kansas City, and not just because of on-field accomplishments and individual highlights. One step that Sporting KC have taken in the past but was highlighted even more in 2013 was the charitable and community aspect that both the team and club took on.
Unlike the winners of the NHL championship with specific players bringing around the Stanley Cup to wherever they please, a handful of players and staff from Sporting KC brought the MLS Cup trophy to the people of Kansas City.
Not only did the trophy travel from schools and offices to restaurants, coffee shops, and a brewery, but the trophy also made a ‘celebrity’ appearance, joined by Seth Sinovic and assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin, to the Kansas City Ballet. The appearance was to thank those in KC for the support shown all year throughout the MLS season as well as during the playoff run and the MLS Final.
Most recently, Sporting Club teamed up with the National World War I Museum for what ended up – along with fans able to take photos with the trophy – being a great community event, the Truce Tournament, with the money raised benefitting the Museum as well as The Victory Project.
After splitting ties with the Livestrong organization in 2013, Sporting Kansas City chose to partner with another charitable organization – similar to Livestrong – to help patients in their fight to battle cancer. This move to join in conjunction with another charity turned out to be great, not only for the club but also for the Kansas City community. The club combined their charitable efforts with The Victory Project.
The organization focuses not on scientific research but on the incredible children who have unfortunate illnesses. The goal of The Victory Project during each game day experience is for one specific child – and their family – to forget about cancer, if only for 2 hours, and be a kid, enjoy the match, and be encouraged by the Sporting KC family. In addition to helping local kids with cancer, The Victory Project also partners with Kansas City organizations like The Supporting Kids Foundation, The Children’s Mercy Cancer Center, Braden’s Hope For Childhood Cancer, and the First Hand Foundation. Although there are many foundations and organizations that other MLS clubs join together with, The Victory Project is one that Sporting KC and the Kansas City community can be proud of.
In addition to not only winning and hosting the 2013 MLS Final on Dec. 7, Sporting Kansas City had the privilege to allow the MLS All-Star game play host to AS Roma in late July. During the week leading up to the match showcasing the Serie A giants playing against the best of the best in MLS, there were many festivities including concerts, a 5K Jersey Run, and watch parties.
One of the most important highlights of that week, however, was the opening of futsal courts in Overland Park, Kan., at Wyandotte High School brought about by Sporting KC and the community service arm of MLS, MLS WORKS.
The mayor of Kansas City, KS, Mark Holland, nicely summed up what the futsal courts mean to the community, “This court was an unused tennis court, that hadn’t had a net on it in years, and now we’ve got kids climbing the fence to get in here before the paint was even dry. And so they (Sporting KC and MLS WORKS) have clearly seen a need in our community: committed to healthy communities, getting our kids active, getting them into a healthy lifestyle, getting them into a positive sport.
So this is the big component of Sporting Kansas City, and without this (the team’s community activism), it’s just another sport’s franchise. But with this community involvement, it’s something special, and we’re glad to be a part of it.
NEXT UP: February 1 –Friendly: Sporting Kansas City v. Portland Timbers, North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex, Tucson, Ariz., 8 p.m. EST.