In September 2013, the NationalYouth Soccer Month campaign celebrates its eleventh year of educating the public about the joys, rewards and benefits of playing youth soccer, and offers a variety of resources to learn more about youth soccer and get involved.
Goals of Youth Soccer Month
- Raise awareness of Youth Soccer and the benefits of playing the game.
- Emphasize soccer as the number oneyouth participation sport in America and a leading contributor to the healthy lifestyle of millions of American families
- Bring kids and families of all agesand all abilities together for fun, friendship and fitness.
- Highlight the various programs available to children interested in participating in soccer, including inner-city, special needs, recreational and elite soccer programs.
The Four Messages of Youth SoccerMonth
Each week in September, one of the four messages of Youth Soccer Monthis celebrated:
- Week 1 - Fun: Whether recreational or competitive in nature, involvement in soccer is easy, affordable and rewarding.
On the first Wednesday of September (Sept. 4th) Street Soccer will be the focus throughout the country. NC Youth Soccer would like to make this avery special event through APPS (All Players Play Simultaneously). The idea isto have all associations in the state that participate start the Street Soccer event at the same time. The U6 – U8 age groups start at 5:00pm, the U10 – U 12 age groups start at 6:15pm and the U 14 and above would start at 7:30pm. All groups would play for 1 hour.
- Week 2 - Family: Playing soccer ties families together as schedules, vacations and family time are coordinated.
On the second Saturday in the month (September 14th) "Positive Saturday” will be conducted throughout the state. The day is similar to "Silent Saturday, but parents and coaches are allowed to cheer, but only positively.This day would also be the start of the ‘RESPECT Campaign” (more information on the campaign to follow).
- Week 3 -Friendship: The relationships and fun generated through playing soccer and their extension beyond the field.
Soccer Marathons can be scheduled throughout the night of Friday September 20 –Saturday September 21 or be played on Saturday September 21stthroughout the day (7:00am – 7:00pm). The marathons start at 7:00pm and will continue throughout the night till 7:00am the next morning. Starting and ending with the youngsters and TOPSoccer players, older teams start a game every halfan hour. In lieu of Friendship week, the marathon could be a fundraiser for a charitable organization in town. Sponsor ideas: $ per goal scored, $ per game played, $ per player played in the marathon.
- Week 4 -Fitness: The health and fitness (physical, psychological and social) benefits of playing soccer.
We would like to celebrate Youth Soccer Month in schools as well. Before September, soccer work sheets have been sent to all the schools in the state. The worksheet will be accompanied with the question whether the school wants to invite a soccer professional from a local soccer association and/or NC Youth Soccer and conduct soccer PE classes in the last week of September.
NC Youth Soccer technical staff would like to be on the field with the players every day of the year, but especially in September. We can conduct free training clinics for players and coaches during week days during this exciting month.
Colleges will be playing games during US Youth Soccer month. Please check your local college/university for game tickets and special events hosted by the college/university. Also please check the special US Youth Soccer Month page on our website (www.ncsoccer.org).
Activities you can do as an association:
Reach out to your community
Distribute flyers and/or display posters in community buildings. Organize mini soccer matches in town squares, city parks and other high-traffic lunch areas. Host a "Youth Soccer MediaDay" and invite local newspaper reporters, television personalities and radio celebrities to participate in a round-robin tournament with local pros. Use the Youth Soccer Month logo to draw attention to the nationwide celebration of Youth Soccer in America. Capitalize on the special attention!
Present special awards
Take this opportunity to create a new award in honor of Youth Soccer Month. Consider a web driven contest for the: "Youth Soccer Month Award" judged on talent, sportsmanship, scholastics, or "Player of the Week" judged on one of the four messages of Youth Soccer Month.
Engage your sponsors
If your association or the state association has partnered with local ornational organizations for support, invite them to get involved. Ask them to promote the month by offering special discounts to customers in honor of the month, or perhaps to display or distribute your state association's informational materials at their retail outlets branded with the Youth Soccer Month logo.Maybe they would be willing to donate product for or participate in an event/tournament hosted by your state association in September.
Reach out to other organizations
Coordinate with local charities such as hospitals and Special Olympics chapters to discuss ways to collaborate and celebrate. Speak with local chapters of Girl/Boy Scouts about ways to introduce their membership to soccer. Work with theme parks or other entertainment attractions to host free soccer clinics and fun soccer-related activities as part of their recognition of Youth Soccer Month.
Although US Youth Soccer conceptualized Youth Soccer Month, we are not claiming the celebration of Youth Soccer Month as our own. We want the entire country to celebrate the sport of soccer throughout the month of September each year. There are too many reasons to count why soccer is such an important and inspirational part of our everyday lives. US Youth Soccer has claimed September as a time to draw attention to our sport and celebrate it with all who are involved, from players to coaches and referees, to parents and siblings, to teachers and administrators, to spectators and fans….everyone can find a reason to celebrate "The Game for All Kids!"
IF YOU WANT TO BE PART OF US YOUTH SOCCER MONTH AND THE GREAT ACITIVITIES, PLEASE LET US KNOW BY FILLING OUT THE ATTACHED FORM AND SEND IT BACK TO US VIA EMAIL (WES@NCSOCCER.ORG).
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING US YOUTH SOCCER MONTH PLEASE CONTACT AUKE OR WES AT THE STATE OFFICE AT 336-856-7529 OR EMAIL AT AUKE@NCSOCCER.ORG OR WES@NCSOCCER.ORG