Photo courtesy of Chattanooga Red Wolves Academy.
Bob and Lana Martino, owners of the Chattanooga Red Wolves (USL League One), Dalton Red Wolves (USL League Two), and Park City Red Wolves (USL League Two) have launched the Chattanooga Red Wolves Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the organization that will work to make youth soccer more accessible in the club’s surrounding community.
“This is something that we’ve had in the works for a while and something that we’re very passionate about,” says Bob Martino. “From day one, our goal has been to be an asset within our community and to help better it every single day. Launching the Chattanooga Red Wolves Foundation is another step in that direction.”
Along with the Foundation, the Martinos and the Red Wolves have launched the Pass It Forward initiative, which aims to eliminate the financial barriers that traditionally come with playing high level youth soccer in America, making the sport available to aspiring soccer players regardless of their economic status. Bob and Lana have pledged a $100,000 donation to kick off the Pass It Forward campaign; 100 percent of the donation will go towards providing club scholarships to youth players in need of financial assistance.
“Soccer not only creates an environment to learn key life lessons like teamwork, accountability, hard work, dedication, and overall health and wellness but it also helps open doors to a better future,” said Bob Martino. “Whether it is pursuing a professional career with the first team or making a college education attainable through playing at the collegiate level just like over 30 seniors within our academy have done over the past two years, access to the sport of soccer can be life changing. Our goal is to offer that opportunity to any kid that deserves it regardless of their family’s economic status.”
Pass It Forward is a significant landmark for the Red Wolves Academy, which has very quickly risen to one of the top programs in the country. By providing access to a top tier academy for players regardless of their economic status, the Pass It Forward campaign is yet another stepping stone solidifying the path to professional or collegiate soccer in Chattanooga.
“Being a premier academy requires significant investment,” said Chattanooga Red Wolves Academy Executive Vice President Derek Greene. “We hope other parents, community leaders, and local businesses will join us as part of Pass it Forward as we seek to change the lives of young men and women through soccer.”