Soccer in the Streets today announced it has been awarded the 2017 Urban Soccer Symposium Innovation Award from the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the national model for sports-based youth development programs in underserved communities. This award is given to Soccer in the Streets for imaginative tactics and original programming to create positive social change in underserved communities.
Digital assets of 'Station Soccer' found here.
“We are both proud and honored to receive this award for changing youth soccer paradigms,” said Soccer in the Streets' Executive Director, Phil Hill. “Our organization is committed to Atlanta’s kids and finding innovative ways to help them achieve success. Bringing access and leveling the playing field are two important pillars to our overall youth development program.”
Soccer in the Streets received the 2017 Innovation Award for utilizing imaginative tactics and original programming to create positive change in underserved communities. The metro area non-profit received the award for its work to launch 'Station Soccer Club Program’, an initiative that brings soccer to urban areas in Atlanta by developing a network of mini soccer fields and program sites clustered inside or around transportation hubs. Through the program, children play at the station and use it to connect with other communities across the city. After the initial pilot is completed this spring, Soccer in the Streets plans to expand the network to ten Station Soccer Club Programs (completed over the next three years) to create the first ever public transit-based soccer league.
Thanks to a grant awarded by the Atlanta United Foundation, and a key partnership with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), Soccer in the Streets launched 'Station Soccer' and its club program concept in October 2016. Since its first youth program kicked off, 'Station Soccer' has worked with more than 1,000 children, delivered over 60 sessions and hosted several community soccer engagements. Before 'Station Soccer', Soccer in the Streets was already providing upwards of 4,500 children with after school soccer-based educational programs in 2016 alone. Soccer in the Streets also runs pay-to-play adult leagues at 'Station Soccer', providing a source for developmental youth coaching and generating funds for their free youth programming.
This award is a part of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Urban Soccer Symposium Awards that recognize and honor the exceptional achievements of organizations and individuals in the sports-based youth development community.
“We are proud to present the inaugural Urban Soccer Symposium Innovation Award to Soccer in the Streets, for their exceptional achievements in the sports-based youth development community,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Through this award we are excited to highlight some of the best practices in the field and recognize meaningful change that sport is having in communities across the country.”
The award was presented during the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s 2017 Urban Soccer Symposium, the nation’s premier event where executive directors, mentors and program administrators learn and exchange best practices in the use of soccer as vehicle for youth development.