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soccer and social change

Soccer + #GivingTuesday: Our 18 Picks


Soccer + #GivingTuesday: Our 18 Picks


With the goal of celebrating and encouraging charitable activities at the start of the holiday season, #GivingTuesday is an invaluable opportunity for participants and fans of soccer to #GiveanAssist to causes that use the beautiful game to bring social change. Getting in the game for #GivingTuesday can be as quick as donating a few dollars, sharing an organization’s link or logo with your social network, clicking an Amazon Smile purchase link, volunteering your time/talents on your terms and/or supporting a social enterprise/fair trade brand.  The ways you can #GiveanAssist today and the rest of the upcoming year are only limited by your creativity.

Whether you want to team up with a cause in your community or on the other side of the world, our 2013 picks are using soccer to tackle challenges with unique, local and global approaches.

#GiveAnAssist And….

Stand Up to Gender Based Violence + Rape: The Beautiful Game

A documentary by award winning director/producer Danny Turken, The Beautiful Game is a story about the impact of soccer on women in South Africa-- who use their love for the sport to challenge gender discrimination, gender-based violence and deep-seated cultural stereotyping-- and demonstrate soccer’s ability to transcend all boundaries and reshape the perception of women throughout the world.  Currently in the final days of its Kickstarter post-production campaign, the team is offering a number of unique #GivingTuesday rewards for those who pledge their support before midnight today.  Check their funding page at the link above for details.

Inspire Creativity On and Off the Field: America Scores*

America SCORES empowers students in urban communities using soccer, writing, creative expression, and service-learning.  The organization currently serves 8,000 young, soccer-poets in 13 cities.

Save Money on Balls: One World Futbol Project*

One World Futbol produces, sells and shares almost indestructible, nondeflatable balls that harness power of play to heal and bring about social change in some of the harshest environments around the globe.  Their buy one, give one initiative brings soccer to organizations and individuals that need it most.

Spread Electricity Soccket

Uncharted Play combines sports, science and social innovation to bring its energy-harnessing soccer ball to the children in the developing world.  Fifteen minutes of play with the soccer ball provides 3 hours of LED light. With a get one, give one initiative, you have a cool ball to charge your phone and a child abroad has a new light source.

Gift Collegiate Athletic Experiences: Sporty Girls, Inc.*

Founded by national sports personality Rashan Ali, Sporty Girls, Inc. provides programming that encourages minority, metro Atlanta girls (age 8 – 18) to participate and achieve success in non-traditional sports, such as soccer, tennis, swimming and golf.  Every year, 40 girls are selected to get a taste of collegiate athlete life by participating in a rigorous, overnight camp at local campus.

Tackle HIV/Aids: Grassroot Soccer*

Co-founded by CBS Survivor Series Winner Ethan Zohn, Grassroot Soccer uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV.

Passback to Upstart Soccer Programs: US Soccer Foundation

The U.S. Soccer Foundation is on a mission to enhance, assist and grow the sport of soccer in the United States, with a special emphasis on underserved communities. Through their Soccer for Success, Passback and Safe Places to Play programs, the foundation is making sure unexposed youth are equipped with all of the tools to play the game.

Equip ATL Youth with Life Skills + Jobs: Soccer In the Streets*

Soccer in the Streets empowers underserved youth through soccer, mentoring, character building and employability programs.  In 2013, Soccer in the Streets weekly programming serves 1,300 kids at 16 different metro Atlanta locations and employs 70 participants or graduates as coaches, referees, event staff, or administrators.

Set the Homeless Up For Another Shot: Street Soccer USA*

With a mantra that “Ending homelessness is a team sport,” Street Soccer USA uses the power of soccer to help homeless men and women dramatically transform their lives. Through their mobile donation initiative, you can support an athlete for ($5) by texting “GOAL” to 80100.

Soccer without Borders*

With programs in seven US cities, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Egypt and Uganda, Soccer without Borders utilizes soccer as a vehicle for positive change in the lives of marginalized youth.

Build Character in Chicago Youth: Urban Initiatives*

Urban Initiatives’ mission is to empower underserved children to adopt healthy lifestyles, improve their academic performance, and build strong character through sports-based youth development programs.

Show MLS Love: United for D.C

As the outreach arm of MLS Club DC United, United for D.C. champions educational, health, and recreational programs and events that serve disadvantaged youth of greater Washington, DC by engaging the resources and skills of D.C. United and its community of supporters.

Arm Youth for Peace: Darfur United (I-Act)*

By fielding an all-star refugee team and academy for children, Darfur United is making sure that Darfuri youth in Chad “now have a place in the world.”

Empower Young Women in Senegal: Ladies Turn

Ladies’ Turn is a non-profit association working to give Senegalese girls and women the chance to develop teamwork and leadership skills through the sport of soccer.

Enrich A Nation of Young Players: AYSO Soccer *

With a membership almost 2x the size of Iceland’s population, the American Youth Soccer Association’s 600,000 youth participants learn how to play the global game in a fun, family environment.

ReGift Gently Used Equipment: Peace Passers*

Peace Passers serves as a platform to redistribute donated, new and used soccer items to communities that have limited access to proper gear.

Create Female Changemakers in India: Yuwa India

With a mission to spark youth led change, Yuwa India provides a platform for young women in India to gain confidence and make a change in their world.

Free + Healthy Play in San Francisco: Vega Football Club

Vega Football is a competitive youth soccer club with a social mission: a free-to-play model that allows kids from underserved communities to access the life-changing, developmental benefits of playing organized soccer.

Have a Happy #GivingTuesday2013!

*Participating in the Amazon Smile program: If you purchase items through the organization’s Amazon Smile link, 0.5% of your purchase will be donated to the organization.


The Beautiful Game Offers Bonus Swag to Supporters


The Beautiful Game Offers Bonus Swag to Supporters

Ngwena KS
Ngwena KS

It is the final 7 days of The Beautiful Game's kickstarter campaign, and the team has just rolled out a new contest for those who want to join us in bringing this inspiring film to global audiences..Check out the announcement below:

Qiana Martin has joined "The Beautiful Game" as an Official Ambassador in order to spread the word about a documentary that deserves to be made that challenges violence and corrective rape through the beautiful game of soccer. In order to help encourage donations to the campaign, The Beautiful Game team is running a contest in addition to the kickstarter.  Three people will win Qiana Martin signed, one of a kind The Beautiful Game hoody and personalized note hand written and signed by Qiana, with a fourth person winning all of the above plus 2  tickets to the premiere, events, after party, and dinner for The Beautiful game with cast, crew, and surprise guests. Ambassadors including Qiana may be at events (dependent upon their schedules).  Person must provide their own flight and lodging.

What do you have to do to be eligible? Go here and donate at least $10 to support The Beautiful Game, receive your reward on kickstarter and be in the running for the contest:  Once the kickstarter goal is reached, when asked where you were referred via email, upon receiving your rewards questionnaire make sure you mention where in order to be considered for the bonus items. Help The Beautiful Game and shine a light on important issues through soccer as social justice while enjoying rewards and a chance to win our contest!

Whether you want to be my +1 for the TBG premiere or you want me to sign your hoodie + pen a motivational message to you, a youth group, soccer team or someone else you know, I encourage you to enter the contest now.  As my uncle always used to tell me, "You gotta be in it to win it!"


The Bigger Goal of The Beautiful Game Documentary


The Bigger Goal of The Beautiful Game Documentary

Chika KS
Chika KS

Are the difficult experiences you face worth it?  Why do you refuse to throw in the towel? These are questions that I have been asked before I ever played soccer in another country, during the time I had the honor to speak at TEDx and after I had the privilege of being featured in a number of national media outlets.

Although my challenges may be disguised slightly different than yours, I am certain we share the same motivation to outlast what confronts us.  It is our vision to see and expectation to achieve The Bigger Goal.

The Bigger Goal is that purpose which fuels us to stand firm when what we momentarily face seems to be overwhelming.  And, it is the reason that pushes us to keep taking steps even when the destination seems far.

The Beautiful Game documentary tells the stories of five female South African soccer athletes who, along with many others like them, have the courage to play what is considered in their culture “a man’s sport,” despite the threat of corrective rape, gender discrimination, gender-based violence and cultural stereotyping. Like each of us, Chika, Nowie, Amy, Shuffle and Ngwenya have powered through their own unique set of circumstances for The Bigger Goal.

Empowering other girls and women in their community, channeling the loss of a parent in a healthy way, using sport as a vehicle to educate others about HIV/AIDS and developing into a responsible person are some of the individual goals that keep them from throwing in the towel.  By bringing their story to global audiences, The Beautiful Game film has The Bigger Goal of empowering millions with the worth that their bigger goals deserve

From now until The Beautiful Game’s Kickstarter campaign deadline of November 11th, I would like you post a pic + share with me #TheBiggerGoal that keeps you pushing through difficult situations, pursuing your passion and/or supporting your favorite cause.  Your words of courage will serve as reminder to others in your social networks, friends in my social network and the City Lads players featured in the documentary to keep an eye on #TBG.

I know that thousands will be empowered by your participation.  You can reach us on Facebook (@qianaeatssoccer)/Twitter (@qianarana) and/or The Beautiful Game Facebook Page or Twitter (@TBGFilm).