Goal Detroit

Mayor Duggan and Detroit PAL Kick Off “Goal Detroit” Soccer League for Detroit Elementary School Students

Mayor Duggan, Detroit PAL, and Detroit public and charter elementary schools today launched the inaugural season of the “Goal Detroit” soccer league at Henry Ford Academy.  The new league is comprised of approximately 700 students from 44 teams representing 15 Detroit Public Schools (DPS) and charter elementary schools across Detroit.

Mayor Duggan, a former youth soccer coach, has been working on the plans since shortly after he took office in January.  The Mayor recently hired Shawn Blanchard to serve as his youth services director and spearhead the creation of the league as one of his first projects.  Soccer leagues traditionally have been embraced more in suburban communities, but the Mayor felt the time was right to bring the game to Detroit students at a new level.

“Soccer is one of the world’s most popular sports but until now, Detroit students largely have not had the same opportunity to participate in it,” Mayor Duggan said. “Team sports in general are great fun and exercise, but they also help build self confidence and develop teamwork and leadership skills,” Mayor Duggan added.  

Opening Day is Saturday, September 27th, and the season will run through November 1st.  Weekly games will be played at the following city parks: Coleman Young, Farwell, Patton and Milan.

The league is open to all Detroit elementary schools, whether public, private or charter.  Initial response has been so strong that the new league already is full for the fall season. League coordinators say the new league will add capacity to bring on more schools for the spring 2015 season and more schools already are on the waiting list.
Detroit PAL, which has teamed up with the Mayor’s Office and Detroit public and charter schools, is the facilitator of the league, which will host weekly games during September thru November.  The teams will be grouped as follows:

•    First and second grade
•    Third and fourth grade
•    Fifth grade

"Detroit PAL is thrilled to team up with the Mayor and elementary schools across Detroit to provide this awesome new soccer league for boys and girls.” said Tim Richey, CEO of Detroit
PAL “With the Mayor's help, Detroit PAL will continue to serve more and more kids in quality after-school athletic programs designed to build character and self-esteem."

How do students register?
Students and coaches can register by contacting the Detroit PAL Office at (313) 833-1600, Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or email Shay Lewis at slewis@detroitpal.org

What PAL will provide:
•    Half the cost of registration fees
•    Transportation                                     
•    Uniforms (Jersey, Shorts & Socks)     
•    Coaches Training                                          
•    Shin Guards                            
•    Player Clinic
•    Equipment (balls, ball bags, cones)   
•    Game Day Playing Fields                        
•    Soccer goals & maintenance                    
•    Awards and Trophies                          
•    Referees

Individuals who commit to serving as a team coach for the season will receive a $500 stipend through the Mayor’s office.

What schools will need to provide:
•    Team manager to serve as a contact person (this can also be the coach)                                           
•    Practice Space                                                                                                                                                          
•    Coach                                                                                                                                                           
•    Registration fee for team (The Mayor’s Office pays half of the registration fee)
       $250 for 1st& 2nd Grade teams – You only pay $125
       $350 for 3rd& 4th Grade teams – You only pay $175
       $350 for 5th Grade teams – You only pay $175

The results of the league games will be posted on the City of Detroit website (www.DetroitMi.gov) each Monday, so people can see how each school is doing.  

Goal Detroit
Important Questions and Things to Know

1. What is it and who is involved?

DESSL is an opportunity for our youth to learn how to play the great sport of soccer  
Build Character
Get Fitness and Exercise
Enjoy the outdoors
Learn Teamwork
Have Fun

DESSL is brought to you buy Detroit PAL and the Detroit Mayor’s office and is offered to all Detroit Elementary schools who are interested in participating.

OPENING DAY IS SATURDAY, September 20th and the season will run through October 25th.

2. What we will be providing
Half the cost of registration fees
Uniforms (Jersey, Shorts & Socks)
Coaches Training
Shin Guards
Player Clinic
Equipment (balls, ball bags and cones)
Game Day Playing Fields, Soccer goals & Maintenance
$500 Stipend for coach
Awards and Trophies

3. What schools need to provide
Team Manager to serve as a contact person (this can also be the coach)
Practice Space
Coach (this can also be the team manager)
Registration Fee for team (The Mayor’s Office pays half of the registration fee!)
$250 for 1st & 2nd Grade teams – You only pay $125
$350 for 3rd & 4th Grade teams – You only pay $175
$350 for 5th Grade teams – You only pay $175

4. How do I register?
Register by contacting Detroit PAL Office at (313) 833-1600, Monday – Friday from 10am to 6pm or email Shay Lewis at slewis@detroitpal.org

5. What else does the child need to play soccer?
Soccer Cleats are optional; however, players have better traction on the field. If you purchase cleats, THEY MUST BE SOCCER CLEATS not baseball or football cleats.

6. Team Structure and number of games per team
1st & 2nd grade teams combined play 7 v 7 with 6 games and no play-offs
3rd & 4th grade teams combined play 8 v 8 with 5 games plus play-offs
5th grade teams play 8 v 8 with 5 games plus play-offs
7. When & where will games and practices be held?
ALL GAMES will be played on Saturdays at a field located near your school.  The number of practices per week will be determined by your coach and practices will be at your school.

8. Is there a way that I can help the league improve and grow?
Volunteers are vital for a smooth running league.  You can assist as a coach, team manager, or event assistant.
Questions?  Call Shay Lewis at (313) 833-1600 ext. 211 or slewis@detroitpal.org