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  • Soccer Without Borders

Meeting Youth Where They Are: Annual Report FY21

The average soccer player spends more than 95% of the game without the ball. A match’s outcome relies much less on what you do when you have the ball and everyone is watching, and much more on what you do without it, when you think no one is watching. You communicate, you create space, you listen, and you defend. You find ways, seen and unseen, to be there for your teammates. This was our charge in fiscal year 2021. In the face of a persistent pandemic, widespread individual and collective grief, upended routines, virtual and hybrid school, and so much more, we recognized that our traditional planning processes would fall short. We had to take each season as it came, meeting each moment with empathy and openness to change.

In this report, we celebrate the resiliency of our staff, who navigated ever-changing limitations to safely deliver tens of thousands of program activity hours to over 2,300 core program participants. We lift up the perseverance of coaches who invested in the individual needs of every participant through countless mentoring moments. We highlight our deepened commitment to gender equity through our USA

Global Goal 5 Accelerator program, which increased girls’ participation and leadership, and through the Coaching Boys Into Men curriculum, which equipped young men with skills to combat gender-based violence. And in the face of travel limitations, we spotlight the launch and expansion of our 13 hyper-local leagues, providing over 170 teams with accessible, healthy competition.

We could not have approached this time of transition from a place of strength if not for our community of supporters, partners, and friends. Thank you to everyone who invested in our work and who supported our team along the way.


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