By Keith Fletcher
Soccer has become one of the most popular games all over the world and kids take to the streets and fields around their houses to have fun playing the game.
While superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are well equipped with the gear and mentality that they need to play the game, (they sometimes even get paid to wear that gear) most kids who really want to play the game don’t have the opportunity to get the right gear or mentorship.
Several African Soccer stars have talked about how they learned to play the game by playing on hard surfaces with no shoes or other equipment like shin guards.
These challenges and the lack of opportunities and gear has helped open doors for individuals to start charities and provide help.
In this article, we cover some charities that are involved in soccer and how they have helped the communities they have been involved with.
Soccer Without Borders uses soccer as a change vehicle. They are providing underserved youths with soccer toolkits to overcome obstacles to their growth, inclusion and success on a personal level.
In the USA, they are focused on encouraging the social integration of refugees, asylee, and children of immigrants.
They have a strong international presence in Uganda and Nicaragua where they focus on strengthening women’s position in the society.
Their programs focus on soccer – play and instruction; off-field education; civic engagement; cultural exchange; and team-building activities.
Charity Ball is one of the charities involved in soccer on a global scale. They are a group of individuals who believe in giving back to the society in general through providing quality soccer balls for impoverished children in remote communities.
They are supported by the likes of Katie Couric, MLS’ Brian Dunseth, Michael Bradley and Borussia Dortmund’s Neven Subotic.
The organization is FIFA endorsed, every $25 donation they get helps them to hand-deliver a quality soccer ball to a child in a poverty-stricken community.
The US Soccer Foundation is a soccer charity organization that is committed to helping youngsters embrace an active and healthy lifestyle. They believe that soccer can help youngsters cultivate critical life skills that would help them navigate through life and become better adults.
They believe that “Soccer is more than a game. It provides a structured environment that instils self-discipline, builds self-confidence, and fosters quality relationships with peers and coach who also act as mentors.”
This soccer charity focuses on character development for children. They help guide kids on and off the pitch through in-class coaching, communication and curriculum.
It was founded by two former soccer professionals and they are focused on children between the ages of 2-8. Their focus is not just on introducing them to the game of soccer, but also character building, developing discipline and inspiring fitness. As of 2016, over 300,000 children have passed through Soccer Shots.
Soccer4Hope is an African charity which is focused on teaching girls and boys important life skills through the game of soccer. They believe that soccer and other sports are great for bringing people of different races together and they have been supporting youth development in southern Africa since 1995.
They claim to have helped over 10,000 boys and girls develop themselves in their programs and even more importantly, most of their graduates have become coaches within the program themselves.
Grassroot Soccer is an adolescent health organization that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize at-risk youth in developing countries to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives, and be agents for change in their communities. Over 2 million youth reached.
All in all, no matter the charity, helping others is a reward. Athletes, nowadays, know the importance of getting involved with charity organizations, volunteering, or starting their own nonprofit. If you are not involved with any, consider getting involved or consider being a mentor or coach to younger children. You can also find numerous soccer-related charities on LinkedIn.
Get in the game of getting involved and helping others.
About Futbol Marketing Group
Futbol Marketing Group is a soccer dedicated sports marketing agency working with professional soccer teams and players throughout North and Latin America. Our three main areas of focus are: 1.) providing talent representation, as well as, offering our in-house Sports Science Specialists and Mental Conditioning Coaches 2.) offering sponsorship and hospitality packages for the corporate client and 3.) sourcing exhibition matches and events for teams. For more information, visit www.futbol-marketing.com.