It’s hard to believe that, in just a few short weeks, I’ll be attending my 7th Urban Soccer Symposium. I still remember the first year I attended in 2013. I immediately felt like I belonged. It reminded me a lot of our annual Soccer Shots convention. People were excited to be at the Symposium, eager to connect, learn, and share. You can feel that energy around you at this event.
That’s, in part, because the Urban Soccer Symposium hosts some of the most exciting, thought-provoking, and educational speakers in the nation, which is why Soccer Shots has continued to serve as a presenting sponsor for this event year after year.
We also stay involved with the Symposium each year because of the passionate attendees who are making a difference in the lives of thousands of children and families across the U.S. Non-profit leaders who attend this event are purpose-driven, care deeply about their cause, and work hard to serve their communities. In most cases, they also work in challenging environments with limited resources tackling very difficult issues.
The Urban Soccer Symposium is a means of meeting others who share the same passion, face similar challenges and, yet, have also made strides and accomplished so much. It is a resource for these leaders that recharges batteries, presents new perspectives, and equips them to continue to positively impact their communities.
By helping encourage, educate, and network with these leaders, we are proud that our contribution is, in turn, helping to make an impact on the respective teams, children, and families in hundreds of communities across the country.
The energy from event attendees, presenters, and speakers alike is why I think we see people return year after year, and why we also see new and enthusiastic faces. The Symposium offers a source of encouragement, camaraderie, and information. I’ve talked to numerous individuals and all of them are enthusiastic participants seeking to connect with other organizational leaders.
Not only do attendees learn from their colleagues during impactful breakout sessions, they are also audience to some of the biggest names in the game – Jill Ellis, Kristine Lilly, Abby Wambach, Kasey Keller, Edson Buddle, Jay DeMerit, Shannon Boxx, the list goes on. To be able to learn from one’s peers is one thing; to be able to go a step further and learn from some of soccer’s greats and, subsequently, be able to implement these lessons back home is what makes this event extraordinary.
As we approach the 13th annual Urban Soccer Symposium, I’m eager to learn and be inspired by compelling and top-notch speakers, as I am every year. The Symposium is truly a one-of-a-kind event for community leaders who are using soccer to positively impact youth across the country and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.
Justin Bredeman is CEO of Soccer Shots Franchising. Since 2011, Soccer Shots and the U.S. Soccer Foundation have been partners with a shared mission of using soccer as a conduit to impart life lessons, develop healthy habits, and do so through high-character, well-trained coaches. In that time, the two organizations have shared experiences as national organizations seeking to positively impact youth and their families through the platform of soccer and built mini-pitches in places like Denver, Houston, Washington, D.C., and Portland. Soccer Shots has been a presenting sponsor for the Foundation’s Urban Soccer Symposium for over half a decade.
The Urban Soccer Symposium, presented by Soccer Shots, hosts individuals from across the nation who are interested in improving the sports-based youth development field. Interested in attending? Learn more here.