With the 2013 Urban Soccer Symposium only weeks away, I am reminded of some of my favorite and most memorable moments from past Symposiums. One of my favorite moments was Dominique Dawes’ keynote speech at the 2011 Symposium. Every year, the Symposium includes inspiring and passionate speakers and Dominique’s speech was nothing less than phenomenal. Dominique, representing the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, had an amazing presence when speaking to our diverse group of attendees and industry leaders, and I was captivated by her discussion of sports as a youth development tool. Through personal stories and supportive advice, Dominique spoke flawlessly about health, fitness, and wellness, as well as the positive roles that coaches play as role models and mentors for youth involved in sport.
When reading through this year’s speaker line-up, which includes Claudio Reyna and Darrin Smith, I am reminded of our own President & CEO, Ed Foster-Simeon, and his closing remarks during last year’s Symposium. Even after working with Ed day-in and day-out, his passionate comments about the impact soccer had on his son’s life left me totally and completely inspired, if not a little emotional. I remember the following Monday at work, seeing him down the hall, and remembering the faces of everyone in the room as he brought the 2012 Symposium to a close.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the 2011 youth clinic, led by our own Symposium attendees. Watching the transition, from eager and willing participants throughout the week to engaging and dedicated teachers coming together to showcase all of our work for the children at the clinic was a moment I won’t soon forget.
Months of planning have gone into the 2013 Symposium, and I cannot wait to create new memories, to challenge the fantastic moments of prior years, and most importantly, to work together to positively impact youth in our communities. Join us at the 2013 Symposium – find details here.