Safe Places to Play
Many children in urban, underserved areas are unable to play the beautiful game because of a lack of safe spaces. We believe that every child should be able to play soccer without being concerned for his or her safety. In order to help provide safe places for children to play, we provide grants to organizations to help them build or enhance a field space in their respective communities. To date, we have helped create over 1,100 safe places for children nationwide.
The childhood obesity epidemic is a national threat to the health of our children. The consistent movement in soccer offers a way for children to partake in the proper amount of activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. We paired the innate ability of soccer to improve health with nutrition education to create our Soccer for Success program. Soccer for Success is our free after-school program that combines soccer and nutrition education in a dynamic and fun environment. Implemented by caring, consistent mentors who serve as coaches, participants in Soccer for Success not only learn soccer skills and how to live a healthy life, they learn how to develop positive social skills in a safe environment. By the end of the 2012-2013 program year, we will serve approximately 15,000 children in 20 cities nationwide.
Growing the Game
Part of our mission is to grow the game of soccer nationwide and many of our efforts are dedicated to doing just that.
We award grants on an annual basis to support soccer organizations and field-building projects. To date, we have awarded over $59 million in financial support to organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In addition to providing financial support, we also provide equipment to children in need around the globe. Through the Passback program, we collect and redistribute new and gently used soccer equipment to anyone who requests a donation. Our motto is Share the equipment, Share the game!
Part of our responsibility as a leader in sports-based youth development is to strengthen the field of sports-based youth development as well as learn from our peers. Every year we host over 100 urban soccer program operators and speakers at our Urban Soccer Symposium; a three and a half day conference focused on strengthening the sports-based youth development domain by sharing best practices and learning the latest industry trends.
The final day of the Symposium culminates with Capitol Hill Day in which attendees visit with key decision makers on Capitol Hill to promote the tremendous work being done locally. Members of the Congressional Soccer Caucus join Capitol Hill Day as well in order to commend attendees on their vital work in their communities. Through continued engagement, attendees establish strong relationships with their elected leaders and other public officials which can lead to additional resources to enhance their ability to serve their communities as well as grow the sport of soccer across the country
We can’t make a difference alone. By supporting organizations with missions similar to our own, we not only grow the game but impact the lives of children in a constructive way.
By the end of the 2012-2013 program year, we will serve approximately 16,000 children in 20 cities nationwide.