April 6: International Day of Sport for Development & Peace

Co-written by Jim Hannesschlager and Laura Adviento

After a busy week, weekends are always greatly anticipated. But when you roll out of bed on Sunday, April 6, wondering if you should visit your local brunch spot or run overdue errands, we pose to you an alternative – help make a difference.

Last year, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 6 as the first ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP).  The day is meant to provide recognition of the work being conducted in the sport and development community to positively impact the world and was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896.  Sunday, April 6 is also an opportunity to advocate and celebrate sport’s role in education, human development, healthy lifestyles, and a peaceful world.

The health and wellness benefits of sport are well documented, however, the often ignored benefit are the ones humanity reaps from the individual who is physically active on a regular basis. Once empowered by the psychosocial benefits of sport and physical activity, the individual is better prepared to impact their world for the better.  When we see youth participating in the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, this is what we see – young people participating in sport while learning skills that will empower them to positively impact the world now and in the future.

What will you do to celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP)? You could connect with a friend, find an activity, and get your heart rate up for a few minutes. Or maybe start a conversation, post on social media, and get the word out. Whatever you do this Sunday, we encourage you to think about what this day means to you. By celebrating this day, we can start building new foundations for impact in our communities.

Want to know how the U.S. Soccer Foundation plans to celebrate? Here’s what our staff had to say:

“While sport at the highest levels garners most of the public attention, it is important to remember the important role sport can play in the lives of everyday people — particularly our children. It can teach perseverance, leadership, tolerance, and respect.  These are values that all of us at the U.S. Soccer Foundation seek to promote. That is why we are thrilled to celebrate the inaugural International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on April 6. Formal recognition by the United Nations of the powerful role sport can play in society represents a milestone in the sport for development movement.  Among the ways I will mark the day is by sharing this blog post with friends, family, and colleagues — encouraging them to reflect on the important role sport has played in their lives and in the lives of their children.” – Ed Foster-Simeon, President and CEO

“Sport saved my life and I truly believe it has the power to positively impact communities in a dynamic way. I am thrilled that there is a day that celebrates the power of sport and allows us to reflect on the ways that it makes a difference. [To celebrate] I plan to get out and go for a long run. Spring time always gives me energy (must be the sunshine) so I’m looking forward to being active!” – Krista Washington, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

“Sport for development is my life’s work.  I firmly believe that using the games we love to make the world a better place deserves a day in the sun.  Happy Sport for Development day, world!” – Michael Vaughan Cherubin, Programs Coordinator

“I’m going to get active in my community by running a local 10 miler race, with proceeds benefitting local charities!” – Alex Bard, Compliance Coordinator

“I am constantly amazed by the power of sport to help us build a community and connect with those around us. Whether you’re a futbol player or a football player, an Earthquakes fan or a Galaxy fan, the joy of sport is universal. For me, this day is about celebrating that joy and about celebrating sport as a catalyst for positive social change in communities around the world.” – Nora Hall, Marketing and Communications Assistant


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  • adidas


    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


    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.

  • CHA


    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

    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 $100 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.

  • Johnson & Johnson

    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

    Kwik Goal

    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.

  • Musco


    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

    SCORE Sports

    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


    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


    Target announced a national partnership with Safe Places to Play in 2017, along with a $6 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

    TGI Worldwide

    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.

    For more information on our services, please visit https://www.worldwidetgi.com or contact Mike Squire at msquire@worldwidetgi.com / Phone: 312-371-5852.

  • World Soccer Shop

    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.


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