"In football, the worst blindness is only seeing the ball."
~ Nelson Falcão Rodrigues
While the past few days have been difficult, the power of sport continues to rally those like us who maintain that a ball can change the world. The England vs France friendly showcased how sport can foster solidarity and brotherhood. The upcoming "El Classico" this Saturday should also provide fans a chance to enjoy the beautiful game for just that - something beautiful. We wanted to share several great soccer for social change related events which are happening over the next few weeks. Please take a quick spin through the links below and join us in celebrating the power of soccer as a force for good in the world. Game on!
An Evening with streetfootballworld in San Francisco, CA, Monday 12/7/15
Founded by Jürgen Griesbeck in 2002, streetfootballworld is a global NGO that places soccer at the heart of sustainable social initiatives. From gender equality in Cambodia to refugee integration in Colombia, the beautiful game has proved a powerful force for changing lives. Jürgen’s pioneering work has been recognized with several high-profile awards, including the Laureus Sport for Good Award and Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year.
"Kicking It" Movie Screening in Los Angeles Thursday 11/19/15 Benefiting Grassroot Soccer
Support Grassroot Soccer by joining us in Los Angeles for an evening of wine, chocolate from local vendors and a screening of the film that brought soccer for social change to life, "Kicking It." This ESPN documentary narrated by Colin Farrell takes a look at global homelessness through the lens of an international soccer tournament for formerly disadvantaged people from all walks of life. Win or lose, through this tournament, these players are in for a journey of a lifetime. All proceeds go to support Grassroot Soccer's mission to empower children to live healthy, HIV-free lives.
US Soccer Foundation's Urban Soccer Symposium Call for Proposals
The U.S. Soccer Foundation serves as the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States and is a recognized leader in sports-based youth development programs for children in underserved, urban communities. Every year they host an Urban Soccer Symposium, a professional development event which hosts over 200 sports-based youth development programmers operating in at-risk communities throughout the country.
The 10th annual Urban Soccer Symposium is coming up in March of 2016. The four-day event provides resources, training and networking opportunities, hosting community leaders and speakers from across the nation who are working to create access to sport for all children and dedicated to improving the field of sports-based youth development.
If you're an innovator or expert in the fields of health and wellness, organizational development, soccer development or youth development, please consider submitting a request to present at the Symposium. Take advantage of this opportunity to share your work with the sport-based youth development field and use this link to submit an RFP before 11:59 PM EST on November 30th.
Finally, there was a piece in the UK's Daily Mail from Mail on Sunday's chief sports writer Oliver Holt posted around today's England vs. France match at Wembley Stadium that puts some perspective on sport in the wake of the tragic events in Paris. Now more than ever we need use to the power of sport as a platform for healing, solidarity and peace.
"The word is fraternite. Brotherhood. That’s what tonight is about.
It’s about fans standing together and putting their petty national rivalries aside.
It’s about one football nation showing solidarity with another.
It won’t change the world. It won’t undo what’s been done.
But tonight’s the best football can do to make some sort of statement that the cowards who attacked Paris on Friday night will not change our culture, will not stop us attending football matches or going to concerts or eating in restaurants.
In one of the many breaks with tradition, we will sing the English national anthem first tonight and the visitors' anthem second.
It is a gesture to brotherhood.
It is the best that our game can do."