(Washington, D.C., JUNE 6, 2019) – The U.S. Soccer Foundation today announced a new initiative, United for Girls, aimed at increasing opportunities for young girls and women from underserved communities to play soccer and reap its many benefits. The goal of the initiative is to double both the number of girls impacted by the Foundation’s programs and the number of U.S. Soccer Foundation female coach-mentors over the next three years. As a founding partner of the initiative, adidas is teaming up with the Foundation to help combat a severe dropout rate and lack of participation of young girls in sports.
According to a recent report from the Women’s Sports Foundation, 40 percent of teen girls do not participate in sports, compared to only 25 percent of teen boys. Furthermore, by the age of 14, girls are dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys. To help provide equal access to sport and teach life skills at the grassroots level, United for Girls will focus on a variety of tactics, including:
- Doubling the number of U.S. Soccer Foundation female coach-mentors
- Increasing the participation of girls within existing programs by identifying best practices for recruitment and retention of female participants
- Increasing young girls’ access to mini-pitches as part of the Safe Places to Play program
- Expanding its current network of partners and identifying new opportunities to tackle these barriers on both the local and national levels
- Engaging young female leaders who can spearhead these efforts in their local communities
“Unfortunately, too many girls—especially girls living in underserved communities—are being left out of the sport because there are too many barriers to overcome in order to play,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “As a result, many girls are less likely to reap the many benefits that come with playing soccer—like teamwork, perseverance, and improved decision-making skills. adidas shares our passion of changing this reality and helping more girls reach their full potential on and off the pitch, which is why we are partnering with them on this new initiative.”
As part of its She Breaks Barriers initiative to inspire, enable and support the next generation of female athletes, creators and leaders, adidas joined United for Girls as a founding partner of the initiative.
“We believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives and this partnership further exemplifies our commitment to removing barriers to sport for girls,” said Nicole Vollebregt, SVP of Global Purpose for adidas. “We’re dedicated to creating sustainable programs with lasting impact for young women in sport. Our partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation further allows us to empower girls and level the playing field in communities where they need it most.”
To celebrate the launch of the partnership, adidas and the U.S. Soccer Foundation will host an event for more than 100 young girls in Los Angeles on June 9. The two organizations will team up to transform a blacktop into a creative field of play where young girls can try new soccer skills and play with their friends and U.S. Soccer Foundation coach-mentors.
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 enjoy the health and youth development benefits of the game. For more information on the movement, how to stay updated, and ways to get involved, visit itseveryonesgame.org.
To learn more about adidas’ She Breaks Barriers initiative, visit: www.adidas.com/shebreaksbarriers.
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.
adidas is a global designer and developer of athletic and lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to be the best sports brand in the world. As an innovation and design leader, adidas engineers the best in high-performance products to make athletes better, faster and stronger and creates a range of classic and fresh lifestyle and high-fashion lines. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram via @adidas.
U.S. Soccer Foundation