One year in and the U.S. Soccer Foundation is well on its way to meeting its goal of engaging 1 million children in its Soccer for Success program and building 1,000 mini-pitches, or small playing fields, by 2026.
The campaign, It’s Everyone’s Game, supports the dramatic expansion of the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program that provides children in underserved areas with free access to high-quality soccer programming, safe places to play, and caring coach-mentors who are trained to help transform young lives.
The Foundation and its partners have built 150 mini-pitches in underserved areas across the country since 2016 and the Soccer for Success program engaged 70,000 children last school year.
“We’ve made tremendous progress this year thanks to our supporters, local, and national partners,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, president & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “This progress means that more children living in underserved communities now have access to the game, support from a coach-mentor, and safe places to play right in their neighborhoods.”
The goal, Foster-Simeon said, is to ensure that boys and girls living in underserved communities have access to the game that, in addition to being a fun experience for everyone involved, delivers positive health and youth development outcomes. Evaluations of the evidence-based program show that 83 percent of participants at greater risk for health issues improved their health outcomes, 88 percent of participants work better as a team, and 86 percent stay away from anti-social behavior. Last school year, 3,300 Soccer for Success coach-mentors worked with young people in 425 communities across 39 states and the District of Columbia.
It’s Everyone’s Game offers communities the chance to benefit from mini-pitches and increased access to high-quality programming by gaining support from both the public and private sectors. National corporate partners of the movement include adidas, Major League Soccer, Musco Lighting, and Target.
ABOUT 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.
Jennifer Arnold, U.S. Soccer Foundation