In 2014 Jim Frank reached out to Withrow High School to volunteer his time assisting the soccer coaching staff. He specifically chose this high school for its socio-economically disadvantaged student population.
Unbeknownst to Jim, the then Withrow Head Coach for men’s soccer had already started a campaign to even the playing field for the players. Most of the players in the soccer program were and continue to be foreign born kids arriving in the US to escape from war-torn nations, violence-riddled countries, or areas impacted by natural disasters.
The coaches had to adjust player substitution strategies based on shoe sizes shared among similar sized players. So as to not endure this dilemma again, a campaign to reach out for funding and/or shoe donations began. And it was successful, garnering enough to outfit the team with much needed equipment, uniforms and personal gear for each player. The personal gear included PREVIOUSLY WORN shoes.
Initially, the used shoes were perceived as a great gift to solve the substitution issue and to provide players with the necessary equipment to be competitive. However, the used shoes created unanticipated stress on the players’ lower extremities due to the shoes being shaped to the feet and gait of the previous owners/wearers.
Not wanting to endure another season where players became unnecessarily fatigued, the coaches implemented a voluntary off-seasoning conditioning and training program for the players.
So with Jim committing so much time and effort to the program, and seeing commitment from the players, the weakest link to success was no longer player commitment. It was the quality of shoes necessary to endure such commitment from each player.
As such, It Starts with the Shoes, Inc. was created to address these immediate and reoccurring needs with the hopes of growing beyond one school, one school district, one community or one region. It became OUR mission.
Through partnerships, provide shoes, equipment, gear, nutrition, training, transportation and facilities for those who otherwise cannot afford to play soccer, and to prepare our beneficiaries to share their talents and gifts with others in their community.
Soccer Shoes, Gear and Equipment
Nutrition and Training
Transportation and Facilities
Since 2015, we have been providing training, shoes, equipment, nutrition and transportation to area high school students in the winter, spring and summer training seasons and continue to assist Withrow High School Soccer Program during the Fall League Season.
We have commissioned a soccer facility feasibility study to provide training facilities for those unable to afford traditional soccer club participation.
We are actively seeking soccer club partnerships and scholarship programs to place players in traditional clubs.
If you are a soccer shoe manufacturer, or sporting goods provider we can use your support in providing shoes and equipment.
If you are a soccer coach or a food service provider, we could use your support in providing training and nutrition.
If you are a transportation provider, we are looking for solutions to ease the transportation burden.
If you are a soccer fanatic, we are always looking for financial support. ISWTS accepts monetary donations via our GoFundMe page.