Canton’s Harmon Field Park will get a new mini-pitch soccer field thanks in part to a $75,000 grant from the Atlanta United Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

Cherokee Youth Foundation, a Canton-based youth sports group, and three other Georgia organizations in Austell, Bainbridge, and Brunswick have received grants totaling $292,500 through GA 100, a campaign to create up to 100 mini-pitches across the state leading up to the 2026 World Cup.

Atlanta United Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to LISC to lead installation of the first 20 mini-pitches across the state. With this funding, LISC – the nation’s leading community development support organization – will identify local, nonprofit and community-based agencies wishing to build or refurbish mini-pitch fields at schools, neighborhood parks and other recreation spaces in underserved Georgia neighborhoods. The local organizations will receive financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of mini-pitch fields in their communities. The organizations will then oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.

This year marked the first phase of GA 100 grants.

“One of the main goals of Atlanta United Foundation is to bring soccer to communities that have no access to the sport,” said Rodrigo Rios, Atlanta United Academy Coach and Associate Committee Member, Atlanta United Foundation. “The GA 100 project allows us to create soccer-specific spaces where entire communities, from young kids to adults, from different walks of life, can enjoy the benefits of playing soccer. We are really happy to be part of a project that will include more people across the state in the sport.”

The second phase will include grants for 16 mini-pitches in Georgia communities. Community organizations, schools, and parks and recreation departments across the state can apply for grants of up to $75,000. The grants require a minimum community local match of one dollar for every GA 100 dollar (1:1) up to $75,000.

The mini-pitch fields, once built, will include field surface improvements, goals, fencing and lighting. GA 100 grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.

“Atlanta United Foundation’s soccer expertise coupled with LISC’s community development experience makes for a highly effective partnership to propel mini-pitch construction in Georgia neighborhoods that need recreational facilities,” said Beverly Smith, LISC’s vice president of Sports & Recreation. “The GA 100 grants will benefit youth and families throughout the state.”

Requests for proposals from communities for the second phase of GA 100 grants will be accepted beginning October 1, 2020. The deadline for proposal submissions is April 1, 2021. For more information, visit GA 100.