Request for Proposals

We are seeking engaging, high quality workshop facilitators that will spark conversation, inspire attendees, and generate innovative ideas. Most importantly, we want attendees to walk away with applicable knowledge and tools that will directly help them enrich the lives of the youth they serve. 

This application is open to a variety of presenters, not strictly soccer programmers.

Workshop Information

This year’s Symposium features seven (7) tracks that help attendees identify key themes relevant to sports-based youth development, and direct them towards workshops benefiting their personal and professional interests. 

Recognizing not all proposals will fit within a certain track, it is worth noting that workshop presenters will not be chosen solely based off of these criteria. Special consideration will be given to presentations that speak to promising practices learned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The seven (7) tracks for the 2022 Urban Soccer Symposium are: 

Soccer and Sport Development: tailored toward program staff and coaches of youth soccer operators or other youth sports programs. This track provides strategies and best practices for increasing skills related to the physical, mental, and emotional development of young athletes.

Health Equity: tailored toward all attendees. This track promotes the cultivation of integrative practices that foster communities where health equity is attainable for athletes and their communities.  

Youth Development: tailored toward all attendees. This track looks at best practices in the field of youth development, not specific to sport, and provides strategies for increasing engagement with and support for youth of different backgrounds and circumstances.

Community Engagement: tailored toward all attendees. This track dives into the ways in which the sports-based youth development community can leverage sport for social change and use it as a tool for community advancement.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: tailored toward all attendees. This track examines best practices for increasing opportunities for all young people to play and coach, with an emphasis on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability. It also explores the meaning and significance of equity in youth sports programming and shares practical steps to ensure programs are aligned with equitable practices.

United for Girls: tailored toward all attendees. This track provides the youth development community with strategies and practices that will increase the engagement of girls and women in sport. Attendees will leave with a deeper knowledge about gender equity best practices and tools to help them enhance the experience of young women in sport.

Organizational Capacity: tailored toward executive directors, program staff, and philanthropists. This track provides knowledge and tools to identify and overcome organizational challenges to create the most impact. Special consideration will be given to proposals that highlight specific and intentional practices where diversity, equity, and inclusion are leveraged to drive organizational success.

Crafting a Strong Proposal

Our attendees consist of executive directors, program administrative staff, coaches, youth development professionals, and philanthropists who work in underserved communities, and have a wide range of experience and expertise.

Qualified presenters will facilitate a workshop that is 75-90 minutes in length on one of the two days of the event. That time should include 10 minutes for Q&A. 

Due to the hybrid nature of this event, we are seeking both in-person and virtual presenters. Presenters will be asked to indicate their availability for presenting in person or virtually. In your proposal, please provide details on the ways you will engage your attendees in your specific setting.

In-person presenters can expect 20-40 attendees.

Virtual presenters can expect 20-75 attendees.

We value the yearly feedback of our attendees, and routinely draw from their evaluations to shape the next year’s schedule.

Although the Urban Soccer Symposium is open to all topics contributing to and advancing the field of sports-based youth development, the following topics are also of particular interest to the Urban Soccer Symposium audience:

  • Developing sustainable fundraising plans
  • Fostering inclusive workplace culture
  • Promising practices for youth development
  • Effectively engaging the community in youth programming 
  • Combatting implicit biases 
  • Integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) into programming 
  • Supporting rural communities
  • Interactive youth coaching sessions
  • Coaching non-native English speakers
  • Collecting, managing, and evaluating data

A strong proposal leaves attendees with 3-4 clear and actionable takeaways or tools that can enhance their programming, and thus the sports-based youth development community as a whole. 

Presenters should be engaging their attendees in discussion or activity every 15-20 minutes, and ensure that attendees have opportunities to brainstorm during the session.

Attendees have loved that they leave with tools that they can implement the next day!

Yes! The seven tracks leave ample room for non-sports programmers to share their expertise with a new audience. Attendees are dedicated to sport and social change, and thus have benefitted for years from the thought leadership of presenters from beyond the sports realm.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation has extended the proposal deadline to January 14, 2022. You will be informed of proposal status by February 2022.