SoccerMadison and Interlakes Area United Way (IAUW) are teaming up to make soccer more affordable for children from families struggling to make ends meet.

The nonprofit youth soccer association’s “Soccer Santa” program will provide a 50% reduction in registration fees to families receiving Social Services benefits. The group has allocated 100% of funding received from IAUW to the program.

“We were excited that they (SoccerMadison) didn’t just come to us looking for money, but had a plan for using our funding to create a new program to help more kids get involved,” said Robbi Buchholtz, IAUW president.

The program will allow qualified youth to play in the eight-game spring or fall seasons for just $20 instead of the normal $40 fee. SoccerMadison hopes to cover even more of the fees and add player equipment to the Soccer Santa program in the future. Any unused IAUW funds will be used for the latter in 2012.

“We’d love to find a way to cut the fee even more and to be able to provide these kids with a ball, cleats, socks and shin guards,” said SoccerMadison founder and president Jeff Boldt. “We’re hoping some retailers in the community will step forward and help us make it happen.”

To receive the reduced rate, families must complete the SoccerMadison registration form and take it and a Registration Fee Reduction Form to Social Services to be signed. Both forms are then sent with a check or money order for $20 per child to PO Box 80, Madison, SD 57042. The forms are available online at or will be mailed upon request by calling 605-270-2124.

Registration for the spring season is currently underway. The deadline for guaranteed placement is Friday, March 16. Coaches will have the opportunity to get ready for the season by attending clinics put on by South Dakota State Soccer Association (SDSSA) on Saturday, March 17, and SDSU soccer coach Lang Wedemeyer on Saturday, March 24. The season begins Saturday, April 14.

SoccerMadison is a member of SDSSA and US Youth Soccer. The association began play in fall 2011 with more than 70 players and 12 volunteer coaches taking part in its debut season.


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