U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION RECOGNIZES EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS OF INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS IN THE SPORTS-BASED YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FIELD AT URBAN SOCCER SYMPOSIUM
March 18, 2019
U.S. Soccer Foundation
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Soccer Foundation presented three awards at its 13th annual Urban Soccer Symposium, honoring organizations and individuals who have provided innovative approaches to improving the sports-based youth development field. In its third year, the 2019 Urban Soccer Symposium Awards were presented in three categories: influence, innovation, and impact.
“It is with great pleasure that we present the third annual Urban Soccer Symposium Awards to We Can Kick It, Segundo Barrio FC, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “It is because of the innovations of organizations and individuals like these that we continue to grow as a community and, in turn, are able to positively impact more and more young lives through sport.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel received the 2019 Influence Award, which was awarded to an individual holding public office who has leveraged his or her position to support, advocate for, and champion sports-based youth development efforts in underserved communities. Mayor Emanuel was recognized for his role in bringing to life the Chicago Soccer Initiative – a local collaboration with Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Chicago Park District, and Citadel’s Ken Griffin – which will see the creation of 50 mini-pitches in underserved neighborhoods throughout the city over five years and aims to expand sports-based youth development programming for local youth. The initiative was launched in conjunction with the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s It’s Everyone’s Game campaign in December 2017.
We Can Kick It received the 2019 Innovation Award for using soccer as a tool to inspire and empower children and their families affected by cancer. As a survivor of brain cancer himself, founder and youth coach, Adrian Conoboy, understands the impact cancer has on one’s life. It was through soccer that he found the determination and drive to fight his battle. We Can Kick It offers free soccer programs to youth ages 6 to 18 who are affected by cancer. The program also serves the siblings and young family members of youth with cancer, offering a safe space for them to find new ways to connect and encourage one another. We Can Kick It uniquely tailors its programming to address the special needs of young people fighting cancer.
Segundo Barrio FC received the Impact Award for its work using soccer as a tool for social change by developing programs that foster the physical, mental, and emotional growth of youth in the El Paso, Texas neighborhood, Segundo Barrio. Founded in 2011, Segundo Barrio FC is a volunteer-run organization and started with just one team. Today, the organization serves 150 young people in three main programs: a competitive travel team that competes year-round in leagues and tournament; an afterschool soccer and reading club; and a college preparatory program, which supports high school players academically and provides pathways to higher education. Responding to the unique realities youth face living on the border between the United States and Mexico, Segundo Barrio identifies best practices and adapts them to their environment to ensure a lasting impact on both their youth and their community.
The awards were presented during the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s 2019 Urban Soccer Symposium, the nation’s premier event where executive directors, mentors, and program administrators learn and exchange best practices in sports-based youth development to bolster impact in underserved communities.
Award nominees were identified through a nomination process. In total, 18 nominations were submitted for the Innovation, Impact, and Influence Awards. The 2019 Urban Soccer Symposium Committee, comprised of leaders in the sports-based youth development movement, voted on the Innovation and Impact categories. Members of the Foundation team assisted the committee in identifying the winner of the Influence Award.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.
adidas, the Foundation's Safe Places to Play - Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation, adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.
APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit www.sportsbyapt.com.
For athletes and soccer enthusiasts, AstroTurf® is redefining how synthetic soccer fields are built and perform. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of clubs, high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf’s LigaTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit the company’s recently redesigned website, www.astroturf.com/soccer. - See more at: https://ussoccerfoundation.org/article/astroturf-partners-with-the-u.s.-soccer-foundation-as-a-national-partner-for-field-building-program#sthash.FL8E8bAM.dpuf
CHA Sports, the Foundation's Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport's full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit chacompanies.com.
The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation
DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than 0 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need. Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit SportsMatter.org.
Hunter Industries, the Foundation's National Partner for Irrigation Equipment, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of irrigation equipment for turf, landscape and soccer fields. Hunter Industries' focus is on landscape irrigation with a significant part of its business centering on the proper care and maintenance of sports turf. For more information, please visit hunterindustries.com. Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the U.S. Soccer Foundation's grants program.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.jnj.com.
Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.
MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer's community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.
MTJ Sports is honored to be a corporate partner with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and its Safe Places To Play program. We believe in working with our customers as a true business partnership. We cultivate & drive healthy relationships through our core business values and provide premier turnkey services for sports surfaces & equipment from design & manufacturing all the way through the installation process. For more information please visit our website at www.mtjsports.com or contact our president, Mats Jonmarker, directly via email at email@example.com.
As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.
SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.
Soccer.com, the Foundation's National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.
Target announced a national partnership with Safe Spaces to Play in 2017, along with a million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.
TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.
World Soccer Shop
Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit www.worldsoccershop.com.