U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION TRIPLES THE NUMBER OF GIRLS FROM UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES IN ITS PROGRAMS

Foundation releases new Playbook for organizations to increase engagement among girls and young women in youth sports

Washington, D.C. – Today, on International Day of the Girl, the U.S. Soccer Foundation announced that more than 121,000 girls from underserved communities have benefited from its soccer programs in the last three years, tripling the number of girls in its programs annually.

In addition, the Foundation and its partners have engaged 5,475 coaches who identify as women or non-binary over the same time frame. Fifty-seven percent of new coach-mentors engaged since 2019 identify as women or non-binary, up from 46% in 2019. This bucks current trends, as the Aspen Institute Stay of Play reported that in 2020 only 25% of youth sports coaches were female.

These new data come as the Foundation wraps up United for Girls—a three-year initiative aimed at increasing opportunities for young girls and women from underserved communities to play and coach soccer and reap its many benefits. Launched in 2019 ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the initiative was made possible by The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and adidas and aimed to help combat the severe drop-out rate and lack of participation of girls in sports.

“Over the past three years, we’ve worked with community-based organizations that have taken innovative approaches for engaging more girls in soccer programs and using these programs as a means to increase their physical, social, and emotional well-being,” said Sarah Pickens, Vice President of Programs at the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Thanks to the dedication of these organizations, we now have promising practices that others can use to recruit and retain girls and women leaders more effectively. While we’ve made great progress, there is still more to be done and we hope that these strategies and practical learnings can help us collectively continue to move the needle.”

The Foundation today also released Count Her In: A Playbook for Youth Sports Programs to Engage Girls. The Playbook provides tangible tools and guidance based on real-life learnings for how to design more gender equitable and inclusive programs. This Playbook seeks to address some of the challenges identified at the start of the initiative. According to a 2018 Women’s Sports Foundation report, 40% of teen girls do not participate in sports, compared to only 25% of teen boys. Furthermore, by the age of 14, girls are dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys. This Playbook will help organizations take practical actions to address the gender gap in youth sports and add to a continuing body of research on tackling these issues.

Throughout the course of the initiative, the Foundation worked closely with a cohort of 21 community partners to develop strategies and tactics to increase the number of girls who participate in soccer and to ensure that their experiences are positive – especially girls from underserved communities. The six strategies focused on: partnerships; program design; organizational structure and leadership; family engagement; marketing & outreach; and recruitment of women coaches. Twenty additional organizations were given Innovate to Elevate awards to then use the preliminary learnings from the partner cohort to fast-track scaling and dissemination of promising practices.

blue graphic elements next to a photo of youth soccer players. copy overlaid on text reads "1 initiative 3 years 627 cities 5,475 women or non-binary coaches 121,268 girls in sports"

To download the Playbook, visit: https://ussoccerfoundation.org/united-for-girls/.

The United for Girls initiative builds on the Foundation’s mission to provide access to innovative play spaces and evidence-based soccer programs that instill hope, foster well-being, and help youth achieve their fullest potential. To learn more about the U.S. Soccer Foundation and get involved, visit ussoccerfoundation.org.

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.

MEDIA CONTACT
Jennifer Arnold
Vice President, Marketing & Communications, U.S. Soccer Foundation
jarnold@ussoccerfoundation.org
202-872-6662

JOIN US

Join the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the movement to improve lives through soccer.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

OUR PARTNERS

adidas

adidas

adidas, the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play – Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation,  adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.

CHA

CHA

CHA Sports, the Foundation’s Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport’s full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit chacompanies.com

The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need.  Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit SportsMatter.org.

GEICO

GEICO

GEICO is committed to impacting local communities through Educational programs, Community Development projects and Equity & Inclusion initiatives. To date, GEICO has donated to 7,000+ charities and averaged between $6 and $8 million in annual giving over the last two decades. To learn more about GEICO’s commitment to the community please visit www.geico.com/about/in-the-community.

Genesis Gives

Genesis Gives

Genesis Gives is a corporate social responsibility initiative from Genesis Motor North America. Expanding on the brand’s commitment to the highest standards of performance and its athletic elegance design identity, Genesis Gives supports nonprofit organizations with the goal of improving access to, and performance in, youth sports and STEAM education in under resourced communities.

Kwik Goal

Kwik Goal

Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.

Miami Children's Trust

Miami Children's Trust

The Children’s Trust supports Soccer for Success programming in South Florida. The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.

MLS WORKS

MLS WORKS

MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.

Musco

Musco

As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.

SCORE Sports

SCORE Sports

SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.

Soccer.com

Soccer.com

Soccer.com, the Foundation’s National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.

 

 

 

Target

Target

Target announced a national partnership with Safe Places to Play in 2017, along with a $6 million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.

Telemundo

Telemundo

The U.S. Soccer Foundation and Telemundo are joining efforts to advance soccer as a means for helping children in underserved communities reach their full potential, including supporting the Foundation’s signature Soccer for Success youth program, which provides free or low-cost soccer programs during and after school at more than 250 sites nationally. Telemundo will also serve as the first official and exclusive Spanish-language media partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. For more information visit https://www.telemundo.com/el-poder-en-ti.

TGI Worldwide

TGI Worldwide

TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.

For more information on our services, please visit https://www.worldwidetgi.com or contact Mike Squire at msquire@worldwidetgi.com / Phone: 312-371-5852.

World Soccer Shop

World Soccer Shop

Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit www.worldsoccershop.com.

SHARE YOUR SUPPORT ON SOCIAL

Tweet or post on Facebook and show the world
that you believe in the power of soccer.