300,000 Children Engaged
380 Mini-Pitches Installed in Underserved Communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Three years after launching It’s Everyone’s Game to dramatically increase access to soccer in underserved communities, the U.S. Soccer Foundation announced today that it has engaged 300,000 children in Soccer for Success and installed 380 mini-pitches nationwide. These milestones represent tremendous progress toward the goals of getting one million more kids playing soccer and creating 1,000 mini-pitches in underserved communities by 2026.
In the last three years, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has broken barriers and made the world’s most popular sport accessible to communities across the nation that otherwise might not have had the opportunity to play. Even in 2020, when so many youth sports came to a screeching halt, the Foundation and its partners rose to the occasion to adapt its proven Soccer for Success program so that children could continue to interact with and learn from coach-mentors via pre-recorded, live virtual, or socially distanced sessions.
Plus, in the past year, the U.S. Soccer Foundation:
- Collaborated with adidas to create 13 mini-pitches and increase access to soccer programs with a focus on achieving greater gender and racial equity in the game through United for Girls and a new partnership with Black Players for Change.
- Joined forces with The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation to create five mini-pitches and worked with 20 organizations to develop strategies for increasing participation of girls and women in soccer through United for Girls.
- Teamed up with Major League Soccer to expand access to Soccer for Success and create 38 mini-pitches in club markets.
- Partnered with Musco Lighting to create 47 mini-pitches complete with lights that, on average, provide nearly three additional hours of play per day and launched an initiative with Black Players for Change.
- Worked with Target to create 35 mini-pitches in 15 communities that incorporate murals and designs by local community artists.
Why? Because the Foundation believes soccer is everyone’s game. Even more, independent evaluations show that the Foundation’s programs have a positive impact on children. Findings show that after participation in the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program:
- 88% of participants work better on a team
- 86% stay away from anti-social behavior
- 83% who are at greater risk of developing health issues improve their outcomes
- 81% feel better about their future
“Soccer is more than a game. For many kids in underserved communities, it’s a path toward a brighter future,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, U.S. Soccer Foundation’s President & CEO. “Thanks to our local and national partners, we’ve been able to increase access to the game for hundreds of thousands of children and create places for them to play right in the neighborhoods where they live and go to school. It goes without saying that these monumental achievements would not be possible without the dedication of our coach-mentors, partners, and supporters. As we look back on three years, I can’t help but feel hopeful for the many more lives we will be able to positively impact in the years ahead.”
The U.S. Soccer Foundation continues to break barriers and set records including achieving a perfect rating by Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. This prestigious 4-star rating has been awarded to the organization for four consecutive years for good governance, sound fiscal management, and commitment to accountability and transparency.
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 and Facebook.