Introducing Switch the Pitch: Equipping Coaches & Youth Players to Tackle Racism in their Community
Since 2012, Soccer Without Borders (SWB) has been a proud partner of Common Goal (formerly streetfootballworld), an organization whose purpose is to unite the global soccer community in addressing the greatest social challenges of our time.
Common Goal established the Anti-Racism Project in 2021 to end discrimination in soccer across the professional and grassroots football industry. Initially, the groundbreaking training and educational programs of the Anti-Racism Project have been largely focused upon executive staff in professional soccer and nonprofit leadership teams. But in August 2021, SWB was invited to lead a collaborative project designed to bring anti-racism education and action to coaches and youth players across the United States. With the assistance of partner organizations Common Goal, Soccer in the Streets, and DC Scores, Switch the Pitch was born.
Switch the Pitch is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for coaches and youth to take action to make the game and the world a more inclusive and equitable place for all. Switch the Pitch includes:
Interactive Team Challenges: Youth teams can choose from 36 distinct “challenges” designed to educate, activate, and facilitate exchange among coaches and players.
Coach Training Series: Coaches gain the tools, skills, and information needed to build an inclusive, anti-racist team culture. This training series shares essential information about positive youth development and includes an “Inclusive Coaching Best Practices and Anti-Racism Content Overview.”
Virtual League: Inspired by SWB’s Stay Home Season, the league allows teams across the country to earn points and prizes for completing the interactive team challenges, competing against others nationwide while joining a collective grassroots movement.
Are you a coach, club, or team who wants to get involved? Or perhaps you know someone who would be excited about this opportunity? Registration is now open for the pilot season, launching Fall 2022.
We know that it takes a team to change the game. Switch the Pitch is a collaboration between partners Common Goal, Soccer in the Streets, and DC Scores, with support from the Chicago Fire, Angel City FC, the American Outlaws, Oakland Roots, San Diego Wave, and more.
Most importantly, though, the work to tackle racism in soccer and beyond would be nothing without you–the coaches and youth players who step out on the pitch every day, those who strive to build a more inclusive and equitable world for all.
Our Switch the Pitch Partners:
Our Switch the Pitch Supporters:
About Soccer Without Borders:
Soccer Without Borders uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change in the United States and abroad. Soccer Without Borders combines soccer play and instruction with education and community-building activities in a year-round program model that authentically shifts outcomes. Soccer Without Borders’ impact has been recognized by the global FIFA Diversity Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award, and the Wharton School of Business’ Lipman Family Prize. Switch the Pitch is a project of Soccer Without Borders Assist. Celebrating the pass more than the goal, SWB Assist leverages what we've learned from 16 years of direct service work to support our partners to advance their own social inclusion goals.
About Common Goal:
Common Goal is rooted in the belief that the world’s most popular sport is one of the few cultural forces strong enough to help shift society towards a more sustainable and equitable future for all. Common Goal seeks to build a movement that creates opportunities for every stakeholder in football to participate. Their mobilization centers around key leaders, leagues, and organizations pledging a minimum of 1% of all revenues to drive progress towards their global goals. They also team up with high-impact community organizations to reshape our society into an equal playing field for all.