This post highlights our Top Ten Reasons why we love soccer, believe in the importance of education and promote education through soccer. What are yours?
1. Soccer or Football is Universal: More popular than any other one sport, more transcendent than any one culture, more connective than any one langauge, the sport of soccer touches everyone everywhere no matter the differences. Example, there are more national member of FIFA than the United Nations.
2. The Team: While there are many team-based sports, nothing compares to soccer because the team expands beyond the 11 players on the field. Need an example? How many photos have you seen with people huddled around the one tv in their village or packed into a pub. Is it because they want to watch the game? No. It’s because they are part of the team.
3. The Passion: Now we are sure that many sports fans would call themselves passionate, but how many structure two weeks around one cup, waking up at 4am or staying up to 2am on a work day, just to watch a “game”? Or how many people can say that they play even if they have to use a rock to replace a ball? We venture to guess not many…
4. The Health Benefits: Nothing is better for the body or the soul than being active and physically fit. Enough Said.
5. The Academic Benefits: As we highlighted in our last post, sport and physical activity has a huge impact on a person’s ability to learn due to increase blood flow and an increased ability to stay focused. Education through Soccer.
5. The Great Equalizer Education: Each one of us is born with a dream, an inspirational goal or a vision of our future. These are shaped by the environment we live in, our culture, parents, friends and family. But they are achieved in part due to our access to education. Without an education an idea cannot be developed, a goal cannot be articulated and a vision cannot become a truth. By giving everyone an education, even a basic one, dreams are given the energy and the ability to be put into actuality.
6. Good Education is Fun: Education should not be a teacher in the front of the classroom lecturing at students. A good education should be a creative environment where students are asked questions, challenged to think and find solutions with the teacher and their classmates. This is why we believe in using activities, discussion and of course soccer, to provide education!
7. Teachers and Coaches Are Important: Teachers and coaches are the people who, in some instances, spend more time with children than parents. While they are instrumental to developing creative, confident leaders, they are role models and mentors to their children. This is why we focus so much energy providing our local partners with training – so that they understand their role as leaders of exploration and role models, not only as a teacher or soccer coach.
8. Soccer has the Power to Change the World: This may sound like a strong claim, but the universal power and attractive that soccer has can be used to develop cross-cultural understanding, empathy, education, life-skills and so much more. Our Founder & Executive Director, Heather Turney, was once told a story by a young gentleman who was lucky enough to be discovered in Africa, brought to the United States and is now playing professionally in the MLS. His story stayed with her because it underscored the power of soccer and the role it has with education. What he said was that many times instead of going to school, he would skip out and go play soccer – because that was all he had ever dreamed of doing, even if he knew that education was important to his future.
9. Education through Soccer: Our vision is for every child to have access to a creative education that leverages the power of soccer to realize dreams. the Global Team seeks to ensure that every child is provided the chance to learn by integrating educational topics with the sport of soccer to keep kids engaged in their education while developing creative leaders and providing high quality education through local, low-cost solutions. This is why we believe in the power of ‘Education through Soccer’.
10. …?: You, our supporters around the world, are part of the ‘global team’ – so let us know what you think one of the most important reasons why soccer, education or education through soccer is important.