First Lady Michelle Obama joins U.S. Soccer Foundation for a free soccer clinic

Washington, D.C. – The First Lady, Michelle Obama, joined the U.S. Soccer Foundation at its free youth soccer clinic in Washington, D.C. to highlight the Soccer Foundation’s commitment to the national fight against childhood obesity and support for the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign that emphasizes the importance of children getting 60 minutes of active play each day.

The First Lady joined 60 children from programs supported by the Foundation in the nation’s capital in plyometric exercises, “sharks and minnows” and other soccer games, showcasing soccer as a fun way to engage kids in vigorous physical activity.

She spoke briefly to the young athletes, highlighting the importance of combining proper nutrition – both at school and at home – with regular exercise. (ABC NEWS)

“You know, you’ve got to move,” she told the players. “You’ve got to exercise … and soccer is one of my favorite ways of doing it.” (ABC NEWS)

The First Lady continued, “It gets you running, it gets your heart beating, it gives you good foot movement…soccer is one of those sports that teaches you all the fundamentals that will help you with every other sport you are interested in.”

Michelle ObamaFirst Lady Michelle Obama takes part in a soccer drill with Ed Foster-Simeon, President of the U.S. Soccer Foundation and two children looking on.

During the event, the U.S. Soccer Foundation announced a new and ambitious partnership with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health that brings together the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Passback Tour and the Alliance’s ¡Vive tu Vida! Get Up! Get Moving!™ the nation’s largest Hispanic family health lifestyle event series with over 15,000 participants annually.

The combined tour will provide children and their families in 25 U.S. cities with free health screenings and soccer clinics that emphasize the importance of physical activity, proper diet and healthy lifestyles and connect families with local soccer programs that will help children achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

All of the groups coming together to support the tour — the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Major League Soccer, Women’s Professional Soccer, adidas, Eurosport, Univision and the popular children’s television show LazyTown – recognize soccer as a powerful tool that should be leveraged to maximum effect in support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign against childhood obesity.

Each organization has engaged the issue separately, but by working together can have a greater impact on improving child health and well-being — particularly in communities where children experience the highest rates of childhood obesity. Soccer provides equal opportunity for girls and boys to engage in healthful physical activity and provides a natural bridge to emerging immigrant groups, connecting families to important information on diet, nutrition and ongoing soccer programs that will help them lead active, healthy lifestyles.

“The U.S. Soccer Foundation, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Major League Soccer, Women’s Professional Soccer, adidas, Eurosport, Univision, and LazyTown entertainment all recognize the unique power of soccer as a tool in the national fight against childhood obesity, and are excited about collaborating with First Lady, Michelle Obama, on her Let’s Move! initiative. By harnessing our collective and complementary strengths we will help her achieve the goal of bringing an end to childhood obesity in a generation,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President and CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

“We are honored that the First Lady has joined us for the launch of this unique partnership between the Passback program and ¡Vive tu Vida! Get Up! Get Moving! Last year over 400 local partners joined ¡Vive tu Vida! Get Up! Get Moving!™ to deliver fun and exciting ways for people of all ages and all sizes to make movement a daily part of their lives. We are committed to bringing the First Lady’s Let’s Move! effort to all communities to help raise a healthier generation of kids,” said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

The soccer clinic, sponsored by adidas, took place at City Center in downtown Washington, DC under the same tent where the U.S. Soccer Foundation held the Leveling the Playing Field gala at which Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke about the power of soccer as a vehicle for youth development and social change.

The First Lady was joined by a large group of notable guests supporting the effort: Dr. Jane Delgado (President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health & Board Member, U.S. Soccer Foundation), Don Garber (Commissioner, Major League Soccer & Board Member, U.S. Soccer Foundation), Sunil Gulati (President, US Soccer & Board Member, U.S. Soccer Foundation), Kevin Payne (President and CEO, D.C. United & Board Member, U.S. Soccer Foundation), Mark Washo (President & GM, Washington Freedom), Professional Players: D.C. United midfielder Christian Castillo, D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno, Eddie Pope, Claudio Reyna, Briana Scurry, D.C. United’s Talon (Mascot), Washington Freedom’s Glory (Mascot), and Sportacus (LazyTown Mascot).

Joint Passback and !Vive tu Vida! Get Up! Get Moving!™ Tour Details

This 25 city national tour includes: Albuquerque, NM; Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Brownsville, TX; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX: Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO, Los Angeles, CA; Las Vegas, NV: Miami, FL; Newark, NJ; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA: Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; San Francisco/Oakland, CA; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA; and, Washington, DC.

The Tour:

  • Provides free family-focused health screenings testing for Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Dental for children and adults with referrals to community clinics and health providers if abnormal readings are found.
  • Introduces children to soccer as a fun, physical activity with positive health benefits as well as other ways to make physical activity a part of daily family life.
  • Provides information on the importance of proper nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
  • Connects participants to the Urban Soccer Collaborative and other ongoing soccer programs as well as to other community resources for physical activity and health.
  • Provides resources to help establish new programs.

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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.

  • APT

    APT

    APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit www.sportsbyapt.com.

  • AstroTurf

    AstroTurf

    For athletes and soccer enthusiasts, AstroTurf® is redefining how synthetic soccer fields are built and perform. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of clubs, high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf’s LigaTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit the company’s recently redesigned website, www.astroturf.com/soccer. – See more at: https://ussoccerfoundation.org/article/astroturf-partners-with-the-u.s.-soccer-foundation-as-a-national-partner-for-field-building-program#sthash.FL8E8bAM.dpuf

  • 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.

  • Hunter

    Hunter

    Hunter Industries, the Foundation’s National Partner for Irrigation Equipment, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of irrigation equipment for turf, landscape and soccer fields.  Hunter Industries’ focus is on landscape irrigation with a significant part of its business centering on the proper care and maintenance of sports turf. For more information, please visit hunterindustries.com. Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, lynda.wightman@hunterindustries.com with any questions regarding the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s grants program.

  • Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.jnj.com.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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