How would the game of soccer change if it was affordable for everyone to play?
As the Grassroots Soccer Manager, I have noticed wonderful growth in the world of soccer in Eastern Pennsylvania. During the past year we have helped onboard eight new clubs and four new leagues as part of our state association. Many of those leagues and clubs are primarily volunteer-based organizations or in areas where soccer is not prevalent. These programs have taken an internal look at their organizations with the goal to make themselves effective sport programs that are provided at an affordable cost.
Current trends in youth sports show the number of participants declining and cost increasing. Despite those findings, I have witnessed communities coming together for the greater good of youth and an amazing desire to grow the game. They are creating programs that focus on professional development of their staff, building kids self-esteem and confidence, as well as keeping activities fun and diverse. These organizations are teaching kids what it means to be part of a team, promoting friendship and character, and establish meaningful relationships with families who are in their programs.
These efforts need to continue to truly make an impact in our soccer community. We will continue to hold collaborative meetings with key stakeholders in our region. We will support the formation of new clubs and leagues. We will continue to have low cost or free Grassroots trainings and make sure coaches have the equipment they need to run productive programming that is developmentally appropriate.
This is just a small start and much more can be done. It’s the goal of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association’s Grassroots Soccer Manger to continue on this path and help establish more quality and affordable soccer programming to all youth in Eastern Pennsylvania. If you are interested in “Growing the Game” please reach out to me.
Grassroots Soccer Manager