It’s time to prepare for the Urban Soccer Symposium, and two members of the Symposium team, Sarah Pickens and Shaina Ross, are excited to announce that the Foundation will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Symposium on March 11-14 2016! The event’s theme is “A Decade of Change,” celebrating the growth and transformation of the Symposium and the field of sports-based youth development.
While commemorating the sports-based youth development movement, we will reflect on stories about the field’s growth from the past decade, as well as dive into discussions on the current state of the field and its potential for the future. We will also reflect on the growth of the Symposium and honor the folks who have been with us since the event’s creation.
Sarah, one of the Symposium’s creators and the Director of Programs at the U.S. Soccer Foundation, shared her original insight on the transformation of the Symposium with us. She described the first Symposium as a roundtable of 12 passionate people who represented grassroots soccer organizations that ran programming in urban underserved communities. These individuals understood the significant impact their work had in their communities, and they yearned for opportunities to convene, learn best practices, and spread the word to other organizations. After a couple years of dramatic growth, the roundtable was formalized into the Urban Soccer Symposium in its current form.
“Year after year, the event grew in sophistication as more people voiced their opinions, presented their impact, and brainstormed ways to overcome challenges and capitalize on successes,” she said. “Although the event has continued to grow in size and sophistication, the people that attend the Symposium never seem to lose sight of the ultimate goal of giving opportunities to the youth served.”
The 2016 Symposium will continue this work with approximately 300 estimated attendees. Shaina shared that there will be inspirational speakers and a sense of a special reunion throughout the event. She said that there is a lot of excitement and potential around bringing together the Symposium’s pioneers and the great minds of the field. We can't wait to see what comes of it and what the next 10 years brings!
We can’t wait to celebrate A Decade of Change and we hope you will join us! Follow this link to register for the Symposium today!