Play It Forward: "Get Them to the Field" Recap
Barriers such as a lack of equipment, transportation, and financial resources make traditional youth sports programs inaccessible to many youth. For many newcomer youth, barriers of language as well as the need to work and/or take care of younger siblings after school can limit participation. For many girls, barriers can stack up even higher, with cultural and gender norms that can limit parental support, add additional domestic responsibilities, and create internalized bias that "sports aren't for me."
Every young person has a unique set of individual circumstances. This is why our mantra "Get Them To The Field" is about much more than physically transporting kids to the field. It's about understanding each individual's barriers and addressing each obstacle as it comes. However, building trust between coaches and participants in order to understand their story and circumstances takes time.
This year, our annual Play It Forward campaign is celebrating 32 stories from 32 Men's World Cup countries, each detailing how soccer is creating belonging and uplifting communities around the world. Below, we have highlighted five stories which have captured the spirit of our "Get Them to the Field" mantra.