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THE U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION AND THE DICK’S SPORTING GOODS FOUNDATION TEAM UP TO GET MORE GIRLS AND FEMALE COACHES IN THE GAME IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES

(Washington, D.C., FEB. 4, 2020) – The U.S. Soccer Foundation today announced that The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation will support its United for Girls initiative through a $5 million, three-year partnership. United for Girls—an initiative aimed at increasing opportunities for girls and young women to benefit from soccer—will engage 100,000 girls in the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs by 2023.

Funding from The DICK’S Foundation will support the United for Girls initiative by: 

  • Assisting local youth-serving organizations in identifying and scaling best practices to recruit, engage, and retain girls in soccer programs.
  • Elevating and scaling best practices for recruiting and engaging female coach-mentors in U.S. Soccer Foundation programs.
  • Creating and installing 15 new soccer mini-pitches in underserved communities. These inclusive, safe spaces will encourage increased soccer participation for both girls and boys.

“We are thrilled that The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation has made this significant investment that will dramatically enhance our efforts to engage more girls and women in soccer in underserved communities,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Thanks to their support, we will introduce more girls to our game so that they can benefit from all that playing soccer offers, such as learning how to work on a team and improved decision-making skills. Furthermore, by training and engaging more female coach-mentors, we’ll help provide many more girls and women in underserved communities with the tools they need to reach their full potential on and off the pitch.”

Today’s announcement was made at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Here for Her Summit in New York City. The summit included panel discussions with influential female athletes and leaders about the powerful role sports plays in girls’ lives.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation launched United for Girls in June 2019 to help combat the severe dropout rate and lack of participation of young girls in sports. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, by age 14, girls living in urban and rural areas drop out of sports at two times the rate of boys, and girls are less likely to participate in sports compared to boys, with participation rates lowest among youth living in low-income households. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association and the Aspen Institute found that only 27 percent of all youth coaches are female.

The commitment by The DICK’S Foundation is the second to support the United for Girls initiative. adidas teamed up with the U.S. Soccer Foundation as a Founding Partner when the initiative launched last summer.

“It’s incredible that two socially-responsible organizations—The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and adidas—have stepped up to meet this challenge,” said Leora Hanser, Chief Development Officer at the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Their significant contributions will make a huge difference in the lives of girls nationwide. But this is just the beginning. We want to continue to take this initiative to new heights by getting more female coach-mentors in the game to be role models to many more girls who can benefit from playing soccer.”

United for Girls supports the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s ongoing It’s Everyone’s Game movement that is driving change on the national and local levels to ensure that children in underserved communities nationwide are able to enjoy the health and youth development benefits of the game. For more information on how to stay updated and ways to get involved, visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/pages/united-for-girls.

About the U.S. Soccer Foundation 
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.

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