The Volkswagen Workers Foundation has extended its partnership with the Chattanooga Football Club Foundation and the Operation Get Active (OGA) initiative with a $200,000 donation.
The check was presented during the Chattanooga Football Club soccer game on Saturday, June 24, by German national soccer player Marcel Schaefer, and members of the Board of the Volkswagen Workers Foundation, Catharina Mette and Scott Wilson, Treasurer.
OGA is a health initiative that uses the game of soccer to encourage youth to live active and healthy lifestyles and is a program of the Chattanooga Football Club Foundation. In addition to improving children's physical activity, there is also a strong focus on developing teamwork and leadership.
“First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude towards our colleagues in Germany for their generous contribution to our Chattanooga project,” said Matthias Erb, President of Volkswagen Workers Foundation, Inc. “After the first year of the Volkswagen Workers Foundation’s charitable work in the United States, I am proud that we have been able to contribute to Operation Get Active’s success. Thanks to Peter Woolcock and his team of coaches, the CFC Foundation, and our partners at the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, Operation Get Active reached over 1,500 children. I would like to thank Peter for his leadership and service to the community. I am looking forward to our extended partnership here in Chattanooga,” Erb said.
Spring 2017 was OGA’s largest engagement. Ten elementary schools and eight YFD centers participated in the program. OGA’s team of 20 coaches instructed over 300 youth participants during the spring season alone. OGA is now operating its summer program at 10 YFD centers, with plans to expand to even more locations in the fall.
"The funding we have received from the Volkswagen Workers Foundation has enabled us to reach over 1,500 children and with the announcement of this continued and increased funding, even more children in our community will have opportunity to participate in our soccer program across Chattanooga, and ultimately increase their weekly physical activity levels,” said Peter Woolcock, director of Operation Get Active. “Operation Get Active has come so far in just a year since launching and has extraordinary potential; our big-picture goal is to be able to offer Operation Get Active as an after school activity in every single elementary school and City of Chattanooga Youth and Family Development (YFD) centers across Hamilton County, and beyond. With such generous support from Volkswagen Workers Foundation, this goal could become a reality very soon,” Woolcock said.
The Volkswagen Workers Foundation, a charitable nonprofit organization, is the American branch of the Volkswagen Employee Foundation, a German nonprofit organization that supports the education of children and young adults through improvement of their living conditions.
"Helping to improve the lives of children and young adults at Volkswagen locations around the globe through education is the cornerstone of our work,” said Gunnar Kilian, chairman of the executive board of Volkswagen Employee Foundation in Wolfsburg. “As the Chattanooga project is a health initiative it stands out among all of our engagements, and we are particularly proud to support it. I want to congratulate our friends with the Workers Foundation for a successful first year of charitable work in the United States, and thank them for their dedication. The Volkswagen Employee Foundation is fully committed to support their goal now and in the future."
"I am so grateful for the contribution the Volkswagen Workers Foundation has made,” said Krue Brock, chairmen, Chattanooga Football Club Foundation. “This support towards OGA provides a tremendous boost towards the CFC Foundation's pursuit of a healthy and happy community," he said.
Each Operation Get Active participant completes a fitness test and a physical activity and health questionnaire at the beginning and end of the program. At the culmination of the program, all participants take part in a soccer tournament. This gives participants the opportunity to meet and play against one another and celebrate the completion of the 10 week long program.
If you are interested in volunteering, coaching, or you are connected to an elementary school that would like to offer OGA as an after-school program please contact email@example.com.