Posts tagged with "US Soccer Foundation"

Soccer illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success

The U.S. Soccer Foundation adapted and launched its signature Soccer for Success program to fit ever-changing COVID-19 landscape.

The Foundation spent the past few months listening to its partners to best support the needs of soccer communities. By adapting its Soccer for Success curriculum, partners can run the program across a variety of settings. In lieu of the traditional in-person trainings, they are providing an online training that is specifically designed to prepare coach-mentors to deliver the program across these new settings. The 12-week curriculum consists of:

  • Thirty-six pre-recorded video sessions that can be sent directly to participants and their families to complete at a time that works best for them. The sessions are around 15-20 minutes in length, can be done at home with little space and equipment, and incorporate health and wellness tips and information.
  • Thirty-six practice session plans that provide coach-mentors with guidance on how to run 45-minute virtual sessions (in real time) with their participants. The practice sessions include both soccer activities and health and wellness teaching points.
  • Thirty-six practice session plans that provide coach-mentors with guidance on how to run 60-minute, in-person socially distanced sessions with participants. The practice sessions include both soccer activities and health and wellness teaching points.
  • Thirty-six traditional in-person practice and game day sessions.

This formatting gives our partners the flexibility to run Soccer for Success three days a week for a typical 12-week season in the way that works best for them and their community at any given time, said Sarah Pickens, U.S. Soccer Foundation Associate Vice President of Programs. 

In some places, space constraints may limit the number of in-person socially distanced participants allowed at one time. Fortunately, with this program, partners can alternate days that players can come in person, while still providing virtual lessons to any other students enrolled in the program. No matter what stage a given community is in, children have a way to participate in each session. This approach also anticipates the very real scenario that things will continue to change rapidly. Therefore, even if COVID-19 guidelines change, partners can still run programming virtually or through distribution of pre-recorded sessions without missing a beat.

Pickens added, This helps children have some sense of consistency, keeps them active, and keeps them connected to each other in a positive and fun way. The bottom line is that Soccer for Success keeps kids healthy in body and mind. In our current reality, this is more important than ever. 

About U.S. Soccer Foundation

The U.S. Soccer Foundation 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.

Follow U.S. Soccer Foundation: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Ed Foster-Simeon x Racial Inequity

Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO, U.S. Soccer Foundation Ed Foster-Simeon is committed to leveling the playing field for people of color and those living in underserved communities. As the former editor at USA Today who has been the President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation for 12 years, Foster-Simeon has unmatched insight into the challenges facing people of color, the history of how we got where we are today, and innovative solutions being implemented to create a more just America. Foster-Simeon can speak to issues of racism; racial inequalities; or systemic social, economic, legal or medical disparities in underserved communities.

As the head of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Foster-Simeon has made the organization a leader in improving social and health outcomes for children in communities that are often forgotten and ignored—an issue that has been even further exposed as the COVID-19 crisis and Black Lives Matter movement have had an undeniable influence on the future of our country.

Foster-Simeon – a former journalist who served as Deputy Managing Editor at USA Today where he was responsible for Washington, political, and foreign news operations – grew up in Brooklyn, New York. There and while serving in the U.S. Navy, he saw firsthand how systemic inequalities affected individuals and communities of color. Today, he leads the U.S. Soccer Foundation to use youth sports—specifically soccer—as a catalyst for long-term, systemic social change. The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s work was recognized with the Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health of and health care for all Americans. The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s work has also earned a prestigious Social Innovation Fund award in the Healthy Futures portfolio and a Justice Department Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Multi-State Mentoring award.

“We know that our communities are suffering. Suffering from systemic racism and racial inequities. Suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic that is disproportionately affecting underserved communities due to decades of health disparities. Suffering from the economic crisis and from other systemic inequities, such as lack of recreational opportunities and safe places to play,” Foster-Simeon, a Trustee of the NAACP Foundation, said recently. “While statements of support confirm that people’s eyes are open, the next step is even harder – doing the work in our communities to fix these injustices.”

U.S. Soccer Foundation’s “It’s Everyone’s Game!” 25th Anniversary Celebration

Nearly 500 supporters of the U.S. Soccer Foundation came together at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles – on the pitch of Major League Soccer’s LAFC – Monday evening to commemorate the organization’s achievements of growing the game and providing youth recreation opportunities in underserved communities throughout its 25-year history.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration featured many of the women and men who have been a part of the organization throughout its history and supporters from the most storied soccer teams in American history, including members of the “‘99ers,” the World Cup-winning 1999 U.S. Women’s National Team. The Foundation and its supporters also used the 25th anniversary celebration to highlight the contributions of five national leaders who are bringing soccer to underserved communities nationwide.

“We’ve been honored to play a role in the phenomenal growth of the game in the United States,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Sport has existed for millennia because there’s a payoff for everyone who plays – not just those who make it to the very top. Mastery of soccer skills builds confidence and self-esteem. The game teaches teamwork and leadership. We look forward to the next 25 years as we continue to make soccer everyone’s game.”
Award Recipients

Visionary Award

Target has been a leader in corporate responsibility and community-building for years, uplifting neighborhoods nationwide by setting the bar for investing in communities. In 2017, the company made a $14 million commitment to youth soccer to bring the game to more kids and families across the country. This investment included the launch of a grant program to provide local organizations with funding for player and field equipment as well as training for volunteer coaches. In its work with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Target exhibits exemplary leadership and dedication to the Foundation’s mission to increase access to the sport in underserved communities. Target was the first to make a significant contribution and fund the creation of 100 mini-pitches with the Foundation, providing safe places to play nationwide.

Impact Award

Major League Soccer has been a leading force behind the growth of the game in the United States. Founded in 1993 as part of the U.S. bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup, MLS debuted its first season in 1996 with 10 teams. The league excelled in growing its fan base and today 24 teams play in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to growing the sport professionally, the organization has made a significant commitment to addressing important social issues and enriching the lives of those in need through MLS WORKS, the league’s social responsibility platform. MLS has invested millions of dollars for more than a decade to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of the sport in communities nationwide.

Game Changer Award

Founded in 2012 with its inaugural playing season in 2013, the National Women’s Soccer League, LLC operates the only Division 1 professional women’s soccer league in the United States and features the most prolific domestic and international players from around the globe. Guided by the league’s core principles, NWSL is committed to building on its foundation to promote women’s soccer in the United States and provide a home to the world’s top athletes at the highest level, while inspiring the next generation of female athletes.

Trailblazer Award

The 1999 U.S. Women’s National Team will forever have an iconic place in soccer. Aside from being one of the best teams to ever play, the team carved out an important place in sports history by solidifying a foundation for women in soccer. The sheer talent, energy, and determination the ‘99ers encompassed when they clinched the World Cup remains one of the single most inspiring moments in soccer today. Players from this historic team continue to find ways to give back to their communities, broadening access to the game and continuing to energize people around the sport. As trailblazers, this team has served as excellent ambassadors for the game and role models for youth.

Inspiration Award

The players of the 2019 U.S. Women’s National Team have never disappointed. They will defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup title in France this summer. They represent the latest iteration in an evolution of greatness, with the U.S. Women’s National Team considered the most successful in the world due to their consistent high standard of excellence, three World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, and other competitive awards. The team has inspired countless young women and men to dream big and believe in themselves through a shared vision to increase excitement about soccer. Their impressive talent, combined with their teamwork and community engagement, highlight the best of this sport and showcase the critical skills young people can learn on the field and apply in their lives.

Platinum sponsors of the event included adidas, the Britton Family Foundation, Los Angeles Football Club at Banc of California Stadium, Major League Soccer, Target, Telemundo Deportes, and NBC Sports.