The Volkswagen Workers Foundation is continuing its partnership with the Chattanooga Football Club Foundation and the Operation Get Active (OGA) initiative with a $200,000 donation for 2018. Over the past 3 years, the foundation has contributed $500,000 to the grassroots soccer program.
Operation Get Active is a health initiative launched in Spring 2016 that encourages youth to live active, healthy lifestyles.
This is accomplished by introducing youth to soccer via an afterschool program that meets for 90-minute sessions two times per week over ten weeks in the fall and spring, and a summer program that meets for 120-minute sessions once per week over seven weeks.
This spring of 2018, Operation Get Active reached over 500 children from 17 elementary schools, one middle school and 6 City of Chattanooga recreation centers, and Signal Centers, nonprofit serving children, and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. Since its inception, OGA has engaged over 2,000 children in Chattanooga.
“I am extremely proud of this partnership and relationship we have with the Volkswagen Workers Foundation. From day one they have supported our vision and growth for Operation Get Active. We are in a unique position to be able to offer the program to over half of Hamilton County Elementary Schools; this would not have been possible without this support and our other program supporters and sponsors” said Peter Woolcock, director of Operation Get Active.
“After two successful years of the Volkswagen Workers Foundation’s charitable work in the United States, I am proud that we are able to contribute to Operation Get Active’s success once again,” said Catharina Mette, secretary of Volkswagen Workers Foundation, Inc. “This is only possible because of the generous contributions from our colleagues in Germany to our Chattanooga project. Also, thanks to Peter Woolcock and his team, the coaches, the CFC Foundation, and our partners at the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, Operation Get Active reached over 2,000 children. I would like to thank Peter for his leadership and service to the community. I am looking forward to our continued partnership here in Chattanooga."
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.
"Chattanooga is a city known for being active, whether through biking, hiking, kayaking or team sports. I think it's great that the Volkswagen Workers Foundation is encouraging our youth to live healthy and active lifestyles” said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.
"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 Angela Kaspar, member 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 another successful 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." Kaspar said.
Coaches play a vital role in the successful implementation of OGA. Each session is led by a
Minimum of two trained OGA coaches from a team of over 60. The coaching team is diverse, ranging from current college students, recent graduates, and teachers at our partner schools. Because of their diversity (approximately 40% female) and experience, the coaching team excels at delivering OGA in very challenging areas of the city, as well as acting as role models and mentors to the children. The coaching model has allowed OGA to scale the impact of the program to additional schools and recreation centers, addressing the need for more physical activity opportunities for youth.
“This program is a fine example of the Volkswagen’s Workers Foundation commitment to Hamilton County. I have always believed in the value of sports to teach life lessons about cooperation, leadership and achieving goals. Operation Get Active can inspire participants to excel not only in their soccer matches but in life” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger.
Operation Get Active is now planning and preparing for the Fall 2018 season in which it aims to bring the program to 20 elementary schools, three middle schools and six City of Chattanooga Recreation Centers, reaching over 800 children. If you are interested in becoming a coach, contact Operation Get Active Coaching Coordinator Julian Ramirez, email@example.com or find out more at operationgetactive.org.