Soccer Without Borders was recently featured in the first-ever edition of the Urban Soccer Initiative's new Community Soccer Journal. The Urban Soccer Initiative (USI) got started as a group of soccer-loving friends who came together to repurpose their local community soccer field after it had been demolished following a nearby construction project. Following their success, the initiative expanded to help improve other fields across the country. This led to the formation of USI, using their "expertise in field development [and] expansive network of those inspired to support the game" to help facilitate "the building and rehabilitation of soccer fields by connecting all stakeholders involved in a field development project."
SWB Executive Director Mary McVeigh was interviewed by USI for the debut edition of their Community Soccer Journal. According to USI, "the inspiration for this publication came from the countless individuals, organizations, and communities we’ve met in over six years, who have helped to grow the sport locally and throughout the country. As a result, we decided to produce a small collection of stories, opinions, and interviews, with those that have inspired us the most and surely as well, those they serve, work with, and play with." From Mary:
"The soccer field is one of the few places where newcomer youth immediately feel confident, counted, and like they can express themselves and contribute. When youth first come to the U.S., most feel the opposite. They are overwhelmed by what they don’t know, and feel helpless and alone in almost every aspect of life. Too often, these youth turn to unhealthy behaviors, rejecting that which makes them feel incompetent. Soccer can reach these young people in a way that no other activity can."
Check out the rest of the interview as Mary and USI cover topics from the role of soccer in newcomer communities to goals and outcomes of community sports! Read the full journal here