Luxury car makers might not be the first industry that comes to mind when you think of kids’ health, but Mercedes-Benz USA is driving a major effort to boost quality coaching and fitness programs for America’s children. In 2014, PHA’s first automotive partner pledged $10.5 million to build a national, sports-based youth coaching force. That money is being distributed through grants to Laureus USA, which helps identify, train, place and support coaches and youth sporting organizations nationwide. Mercedes-Benz committed to training 1,000 coaches in after-school sporting programs in order to reach 150,000 children across the country.
Girls on the Run was one of the first organizations to benefit from this commitment under Laureus USA’s Model City Initiative, which provided capacity-building grants to six local youth sports organizations in New Orleans, its first Model City. Prior to receiving the grant, Girls on the Run was limited to serving a handful of schools with its program to help young girls build confidence through physical activity, goal-setting and teamwork. But thanks to the three-year, $165,000 capacity-building grant, Girls on the Run was able to bump up staffing, increase participation and expand its program to more than 30 schools, YMCAs and community centers.
In 2017, Mercedes-Benz committed to investing $8.4 million in organizations working to train coaches in sports-based youth development for at-risk youth. This commitment will have a concentration in Atlanta and will take place over three years.
$8.4 million invested by Mercedes-Benz USA in organizations working to train coaches in sports-based youth development for at-risk youth