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Soccer Without Borders, Common Goal, and Positive Coaching Alliance Forge a Partnership for Switch the Pitch


Soccer Without Borders, Common Goal, and Positive Coaching Alliance Forge a

Partnership for Switch the Pitch

Chicago, 2024 — Soccer Without Borders (SWB) and Common Goal, through their Switch the Pitch (STP) program, proudly announce their collaborative partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a national nonprofit dedicated to fostering positive character-building sports experiences for youth and high school athletes.

The innovative partnership empowers STP with access to PCA's extensive training resources, including live group workshops, online courses, and supplementary materials. These resources cover coaching techniques, guidance for sports parents, development for student-athletes, and administration support. PCA's commitment to a positive youth sports experience aligns seamlessly with the goals of the collaborating organizations.

SWB is an international organization using soccer to create positive social change. They value authenticity and equity—taking a whole-person approach to youth development. SWB’s trauma-informed coaching, coupled with evidence-based programming, establishes safe spaces through soccer, addressing and reducing barriers to participation. This approach led to the creation of STP.

Interactive and experiential, STP is a capacity-building program designed by SWB in partnership with Common Goal, a global impact movement that leverages soccer’s resources, cultural influence, and core values to drive societal transformation for the well-being of our people and planet while inspiring positive change within the game itself. STP brings together clubs, grassroots organizations, coaches, and young people to advance racial justice and inclusion on the pitch and sidelines. At its core is the "Inclusive Coach" training program, preparing youth soccer coaches with on-field Team Challenges that educate, activate, and facilitate dialogue on topics like racial identity, allyship, activism, and leadership.

PCA has partnered with roughly 3,500 schools, districts, conferences, youth sports organizations, and park-and-rec departments to create a Development Zone® culture, with the goal of using youth and high school sports to create a positive youth sports experience.

"We look forward to working with Switch The Pitch to create the best possible sports experience for student-athletes,” said Positive Coaching Alliance President Jason Sacks. “We appreciate the district leadership making a positive high school sports experience a priority for all involved, including student-athletes, coaches, and parents. When sports are done right, we know it can be an amazing opportunity not only to strive to win but more importantly, teach life lessons that will stay with our youth long after their playing days are over.”

Ryan Walker-Hartshorn, of Soccer Without Borders, is excited to work with PCA. She says, “SWB is thrilled about the opportunity to expand our relationship with PCA and our offerings for Switch the Pitch with their incredible content. We believe in the power of sincere collaboration and can’t wait to see the impacts of our shared efforts towards an anti-racist US soccer community.”

Program Manager of Racial Justice at Common Goal, Taylor Green, shares her enthusiasm about the collaboration, "Switch the Pitch is a collective passion project to pursue racial justice in youth soccer. Having the trust, partnership, and resources of Positive Coaching Alliance to elevate our initiative is exciting and more motivation to join forces with organizations who are committed to anti-racism in all that we do."

The partnership announcement is met with anticipation from all involved parties.

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