Utah family raises funds to help young athletes play

Posted at 10:12 PM, Apr 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-26 00:22:04-04

SALEM, Utah --- As early as they can walk in the Bowler family, they can play.

“I love sports,” Ryan Bowler said.

From their youngest to oldest, Bowler and his wife, Amanda, have made sports a part of the kids’ upbringing in Salem. Now, they want other children to experience it as well.

“Friday nights, I couldn't go to sleep because I knew I had a soccer game Saturday morning,” Ryan Bowler said. “And so, I would wake up early and be ready to go play. I can only imagine a kid with that same desire to want to play and not being able to.”

Three years ago, from the sidelines at home, the couple started fundraising.

“It averages about $50 per sport, per kid,” said Amanda Bowler. “So, for a lot of families, you know, it's two or three kids wanting to play. That $150 chunk, in addition to cleats or shoes or whatever they're going to need, it's just too much all at once."

Through the creation of the non-profit, AMP Athletics, they have raised enough money to put 35 kids out on the field in recreational leagues from Santaquin to Ogden.

“It’s great to see him get out and be active, and have him get outside the house and make friends,” said Mike Sutter of Utah County.

His son, Kayden, is being sponsored by the organization for the spring season of soccer in Salem.

“We're doing really good. We got three games already, and we've won all three,” Kayden said.

With five children, the Sutters couldn’t afford to support every extracurricular their kids selected.

“Sometimes it's tough to say, ‘Hey you know you can't do that sport. We just don't have the funds to do that.’ But they've been good sports about it,” Sutter said.

With the help from others, the Bowlers hope this won’t be the last season for Sutter and others, but rather, the first of many.

If you would like to nominate a child for sponsorship or learn more about the program, click here.