Soccer Across America (formerly Soccer Start)
Soccer Across America (formerly known as Soccer Start) is designed to introduce the sport of soccer to youngsters living in communities not yet served by existing clubs and leagues. Focused on making soccer available to lower-income children in underserved communities, Soccer Across America provides soccer training and administrative guidance to players and organizations who might otherwise not be exposed to the sport. Soccer Across America also helps new programs find the funding and equipment to begin and then to expand their activities. In the past several years, US Youth Soccer has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial and material support to programs across the United States.
Why do we need a Soccer Across America Program?
Soccer is the fastest growing sport in the United States. It has reached into communities from coast to coast and from north to south. Yet, soccer has not always served inner city and rural communities and all economic and ethnic groups. In order to insure that every child has the opportunity to play our beautiful game, US Youth Soccer founded the Soccer Across America program.
Goals of Soccer Across America
- To reach out to children in unserved and underserved communities to offer them an ongoing program of positive sports activities through soccer.
- To increase self esteem of youngsters through participation in an organized and supportive program of team activities.
- To build positive social and life skills.
- To provide important exercise an increase awareness of one's own health through sports.
- To provide the players with positive, cooperative and enjoyable activities.?
Creating your own program
Soccer Across America programs are run locally by existing clubs and leagues, by Boys and Girls Clubs and Y's, by neighborhood and parks and recreation departments. There is no one size fits all model for Soccer Across America.
Each program starts differently and is created locally to meet the needs and capabilities of the organization and of the players. Programs in the nation's biggest cities may include thousands of children, and yet there are hundreds of small programs that focus on one or two teams, one group of kids in a single neighborhood or one corner of a rural farming community.
Programs may last as little as a few weeks in the fall to as much as full seasons in more than one part of the year. Many programs adopt traditional soccer rules with full-sized fields and full length games while other choose to introduce soccer through "Small-Sided Games" on smaller fields. The choices about how to begin are as varied as the places in which they begin. Soccer Across America can help your community decide on how to get started by providing written information and hands-on technical assistance.