Meredith McClure, U.S. Soccer Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.872.6662
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Soccer Foundation is raising public awareness for National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by hosting events throughout September that use soccer to engage children in healthy activities and showcase the important role organized, grassroots youth sports programs can play in the fight against childhood obesity.
Scheduled events include soccer clinics at five (5) U.S. Soccer Foundation Soccer for Success sites across the country, the grand opening of a new sports field at Rand Elementary School in Washington, D.C., free health screening fairs in partnership with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and a soccer celebration/field dedication event with Special Olympics.
Headlining the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s efforts during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is the Soccer for Success Program “Kick-Off Day” taking place on September 22. Soccer for Success programs supported by the U.S. Soccer Foundation in Washington, DC, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago will hold afternoon soccer clinics for children and their parents to help kick-off the school year on a healthy note. After each event, Soccer for Success programs will continue to run throughout the school year and provide children in grades K-8 with free after-school soccer programming.
“Organized youth sports programs, that provide guidance on healthy eating and nutrition, should be at the center of any strategic national effort to fight childhood obesity,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “By supporting the development of safe playing fields and offering soccer programs that provide participants with mentoring, tutoring, and nutritional guidance – we can ensure that our children develop not only as athletes, but as people.”
In the past four decades, obesity rates in the United States have soared among all age groups. Childhood obesity has increased more than fourfold among those ages 6 to 11. Over 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight, a statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic.
Earlier this year, First Lady Michelle Obama and the Let’s Move! Campaign joined the U.S. Soccer Foundation at a free soccer clinic in Washington, D.C. that showcased the sport as a fun way to engage children in vigorous physical activity.
Soccer increases strength, agility and endurance – and serves as a positive outlet for those who play. Youth who play active sports like soccer are less likely to be overweight or obese, less likely to suffer from chronic health conditions like asthma and diabetes, and more likely to become active and healthy adults.
Full List of Events
National Soccer for Success “Kick-Off” Day, Wednesday, September 22 – Events held in Washington D.C., New York, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Soccer for Success programs supported by the U.S. Soccer Foundation in Washington, DC, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago will hold afternoon soccer clinics for children and their parents to help kick-off the school year on a healthy note. After each event, Soccer for Success programs will continue to run throughout the school year and provide children in grades K-8 with free after-school soccer programming.
Joint Passback and Get Up! Get Moving!™ Tour – The U.S. Soccer Foundation is partnering with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health to hold events in Dallas, TX, Seattle, WA, and San Diego, CA that provide children and their families with free health screenings and soccer clinics.
- DALLAS, TX: Saturday, September 11, Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Kiest Park, 3880 South Hampton Rd., Dallas, TX.
- SEATTLE, WA: Saturday, September 18, Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, South Park Community Center, 8319 Eighth Avenue South, Seattle, WA.
- SAN DIEGO, CA: Saturday, September 25, Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Location: Chicano Park, National and Logan Avenues, San Diego, CA.
Field Opening & Soccer Celebration at Rand Elementary School, Thursday, September 16 – A ribbon cutting ceremony for a new SportCourt field followed by a soccer clinic run by United Soccer Club coaches for over 50 elementary school children. Thursday, September 16. Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Rand Elementary School, 33 Riggs Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20011.
Soccer Celebration & Field Dedication Event with Special Olympics: Honoring Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day, Saturday, September 25: As part of the first “Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day” (EKS Day) the event will bring together Special Olympic athletes and players and coaches from United Soccer Club for an afternoon soccer clinic and unified game where children will mix teams and engage in friendly competition. September 25, Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm, Friendship Southeast Academy Charter School – Mini-Pitch Soccer Field, 645 Milwaukee Place, SE, Washington, DC 20032.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States. Established in 1994, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has invested more than $51 million, supporting hundreds of projects in every state. The U.S. Soccer Foundation supports programs and field building projects that provide low-income and at-risk youth in urban communities with soccer programs that promote education, healthy lifestyles, leadership and positive alternatives to drugs, crime and other at-risk behaviors. For more information, or to donate online, please visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org/donate.