ATLANTA (May 26, 2017) - Last Sunday May 21st over 400 people attended the seventh annual ATL Champions League 2017, one of Soccer in the Streets' traditional fundraising tournaments in support of metro Atlanta underserved youth. The event - hosted by Atlanta United at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground - broke all previous records, with 16 participating teams, over 200 players hitting the pitch, and raising $136k, surpassing last years' total.
In images, ATL Champions League: here.
"It is truly uplifting to see so many amazing people come together for a common purpose; harnessing their love of the game to help us in our mission of giving all children a chance to succeed. We can't thank them enough for their fundraising efforts, and for making it such an exciting day on the field," said Bill Ford, Event Chairman and Soccer in the Streets Board Member. "And the event was lifted to a new level with the world class facilities provided by Atlanta United. They were the perfect hosts, and their support means so much to us."
The ATL Champions League 2017 saw the city's most passionate soccer fans, representing fifteen of the most illustrious European soccer teams, plus our own Atlanta United FC, battle it out for the title both on and off the pitch. This years' edition featured a final match between Manchester United and Atlanta United FC; Manchester United claimed the 2017 Championship crown, after defeating 1-0 in extra-time the defending champions, Atlanta United.
Off the pitch, Liverpool took the honors as the number one fundraising team of the tournament, raising over $32k total. Paul Hourigan, also on the Liverpool team, was recognized for his efforts by becoming the player fundraising MVP, grossing over $10k.
Behind the competitiveness and fun of the ATL Champions League is the most important aspect of this tournament: raising funds to bring soccer to lower income communities, helping Soccer in the Streets to provide sustainable free youth soccer programs that cultivate change, education, and empower youth.
Since 1989, Soccer in the Streets provides access and opportunities to disadvantaged children in urban neighborhoods. Using soccer as the medium, the non-profit has instilled healthy lifestyles and positive choices to thousands of children in the metro Atlanta area. With a holistic approach, the organization centers its programs on character development, life skills, mentoring, and employability. The local non-profit ensures all children have a chance to succeed on and off the field. Since early 2016, Soccer in the Streets has provided upwards of 6,000 children with after school soccer-based educational programs in underserved communities.