ATLANTA (May 26, 2017) – Beyond Sport today announced that ‘Station Soccer’, the first soccer pitch in the world inside a metro system, has earned a spot on their annual Beyond Sport Global Awards Official Shortlist, showcasing 37 organizations worldwide, in different categories, that are successfully using sport to promote and achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). ‘Station Soccer’ is one of three finalists in the category of Sport for Innovation and Tech Award.
Established by Soccer in the Streets, a local nonprofit that empowers underserved youth through sports-based training, character development, mentoring, and employability programs, ‘Station Soccer’ - located at MARTA Five Points - centers its efforts in holistic programming for developing skills both on and off the pitch in innovative ways. The field, funded by the Atlanta United Foundation, and brought to fruition thanks to partnerships with MARTA and the U.S. Soccer Foundation, has become a blueprint for community activation and social impact soccer efforts in urban areas nationwide.
"Station Soccer embodies everything that impactful collaboration can have on communities. The partnership between Soccer in the Streets, MARTA and the Atlanta United Foundation showcase how public, private and nonprofit entities can be impactful through innovation,’ said Sanjay Patel, Soccer in the Streets Board Member. “It's been fantastic to see kids and adults from all over the city meet at a train station to play soccer, long may it continue and many thanks to Beyond Sport for the recognition."
As the global force for sustainable social change through sport, Beyond Sport overhauled the awards this year to align with the UN SDG’s. The move came from Beyond Sport’s belief that using sport is an effective and game-changing approach to addressing extreme poverty, inequality and climate change.
Calling on any organization, program, campaign, initiative, brand, sports team or league to share how they are using sport to take action for the Global Goals, Beyond Sport received over 250 entries, representing 70 countries and 40 sports.
“To be honoured on the world stage by Beyond Sport for our innovation is wonderful,” said Phil Hill, Soccer in the Streets Executive Director. “We are committed to creating positive social change through soccer, and providing a solution to the transportation issue for kids from poor neighborhoods is key”
Being shortlisted for a Beyond Sport Global Award is a huge achievement. The organizations heralded within the Beyond Sport network - of over 2,500 projects in 148 countries - receives exclusive media opportunities, facilitated partnership introductions, resource possibilities, and promotional activities. The success of being shortlisted will allow Soccer in the Streets create a sustainable platform to continue contributing to the UN SDG’s through sport, throughout the World.
The annual Beyond Sport Awards Ceremony and Beyond Sport United conference will be held from July 26th - 27th in New York City.