SEATTLE, WASH. – In partnership with Providence, Regence and Renton School District, Sounders FC and its charitable partner RAVE Foundation today announced the opening of a new soccer mini-pitch in Renton at Benson Hill Elementary on Thursday, September 28.
In honor of the opening, a day full of interactive and celebratory events centered around mental and physical health is planned for students, beginning with a mental wellness-themed school assembly, presented by Providence.
As Sounders FC continues its commitment with Providence to provide mental health awareness and education to students at Renton School District, the pair will host an assembly for Benson Hill students from 9:00-9:30 a.m. PT that focuses on giving students tools to support their own social-emotional health.
Sounders FC and Providence, a not-for-profit health system serving the Western United States, announced a partnership earlier this year that centers upon driving meaningful impact in the area of youth mental health and wellness. With both organizations based in Renton, they have since entered a collaborative and thoughtful relationship with Renton School District, grounded in research that identifies schools as one of the most effective forums for providing consistent and accessible behavioral health services to children and adolescents. Through this relationship, Providence and Sounders FC have worked hand-in-hand with district leadership to develop, implement and provide support for a variety of programming and services focused on concrete ways to improve mental health for students. Some of this programming includes mental health-focused assemblies and forums, a new virtual therapy program, and RAVE mini-pitches to foster play and student-led wellness programs.
“Our partnership with Sounders FC and Providence Health is an important part of our work to provide students with safe, healthy, fun ways to maintain their physical and mental health,” said Damien Pattenaude, Renton Public Schools Superintendent.
“Improving the mental health and well-being of our children is one of the highest priorities at Providence,” said Arpan Waghray, CEO of Providence’s Well Being Trust. “To advance this goal, we need to meet students where they are, emphasize the value of caring for your mental health and help create a culture of zero mental health stigma. This mini pitch and partnership aim to do exactly that by helping students be physically active, connect with each other and learn valuable skills, all of which can enhance their mental health. We’re proud to work alongside Sounders FC and Renton School District in this important effort.”
The morning’s assembly is followed by the official opening of the new soccer mini-pitch as part of RAVE’s commitment to build 26 small fields for free play by the end of 2026. The mini-pitch opening is scheduled from 9:40-10:00 a.m. PT at the school campus. The opening is designed to be exciting and interactive, allowing students to celebrate the new addition to their campus together. Emceed by former Sounder and current club ambassador Brad Evans, the ceremony will feature soccer freestyle performances, Sounders FC matchday elements, giveaways for students and more.
Adding to the day of celebration, along with the club’s Official Health Plan partner Regence, RAVE and Sounders FC community coaching staff will be connecting mental health with physical health by taking over all Physical Education classes for the day with soccer skills training. Sounders FC and Regence announced a multi-year partnership earlier this year. The multi-year deal is focused on community initiatives that aim to improve the physical health and total wellness for youth. The partnership highlights the long-term commitment of both Sounders FC and Regence to serving the Puget Sound region.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Sounders FC on improving the well-being of local youth,” said Claire Verity, President of Regence BlueShield. “The new mini-pitch at Benson Hill Elementary is an exciting chapter in a multi-year partnership to give kids more ways to boost their overall health.”
Ahead of school dismissal, all students will be given a free soccer ball courtesy of RAVE Foundation, a free cinch backpack courtesy of Providence and a free water bottle courtesy of Regence.
The morning’s school assembly and mini-pitch ceremony at Benson Hill Elementary are open to media members for photography and b-roll opportunities and to speak to stakeholders. Media members who would like to attend the event should RSVP with Gisselle Pichardo of Sounders FC Communications [GisselleP@SoundersFC.com].
More information about RAVE Foundation can be found at RaveFoundation.org. RAVE also welcomes donations to its general 26 Fields by 2026 campaign HERE.
ABOUT RENTON SCHOOL DISTRICT
Renton School District 403 is a public school district headquartered in Renton, Washington. The School District strives to remove and pursue outcomes that enable all students to realize their potential and maximize their future opportunities. The district boundaries include the vast majority of Renton, all of Bryn Mawr-Skyway, and portions of the adjacent cities and communities of Bellevue, East Renton Highlands, Fairwood, Kent, Newcastle, SeaTac, and Tukwila.
You can learn more at https://www.rentonschools.us/.
Providence is a national, not-for-profit health system comprising a diverse family of organizations and driven by a belief that health is a human right. With 52 hospitals, over 900 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing, and many other health and educational services, the health system and its partners employ more than 120,000 caregivers serving communities across seven states – Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington, with system offices in Renton, Wash., and Irvine, Calif.
Learn about Providence’s vision of health for a better world at Providence.org.
ABOUT REGENCE BLUESHIELD
Regence BlueShield has been providing health care solutions to Washingtonians in select counties for more than a century. As a taxpaying nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care.
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