The Watonwan County Latino Wellness Council, started with SHIP funds, has identified and begun working on a number of SHIP initiatives. The first project they tackled was working with the City of Madelia to establish a place to play soccer games and to practice. A youth league was started last year and had over 95 children signed up to participate. This league is for youth ages 4-14. A new youth league, for youth ages 15-19, was started this year. Because of the lack of field space, this league was forced to have home games played in neighboring communities. In addition to the youth leagues, there is also a very active adult league who is in need of a home field. The Latino Council worked with the City Administrator to identify land space and draft a proposal to take to the City Council. 12 Latinos along with FMW SHIP Coordinator, Chera Sevcik and Latino Wellness Council mini-grant manager, Ellen De la torre, presented their proposal to the Madelia City Council on March 28. The Madelia City Council approved use of the land for soccer, and even provided additional field space to practice and play until the land has been graded, seeded and is playable.
To help get the field off and running, the Latino Wellness Council is able to use their SHIP mini-grant funds to purchase grass seed, field chalk, soccer goals and a portable storage shed to store community soccer equipment.