CHICAGO (June 29, 2021)—As part of U.S. Soccer’s “One Nation” social responsibility platform, the Federation has announced a series of community engagement initiatives around the 2021 WNT Summer Series, presented by Visa, in East Hartford, Conn.
The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Mexico on July 1 and July 5 in its final two games before heading to Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The One Nation initiatives are designed to drive meaningful impact in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
COACH FOR COMMUNITY
U.S. Soccer will partner with Connecticut Junior Soccer Association to run a free Coach for Community event at the Bloomfield Soccer Club on Saturday, July 3.
With most youth coaches not having access to adequate training, U.S. Soccer has introduced the Coach for Community program to serve not only as an introduction to teaching the game, but to improve sporting experiences within communities, particularly underserved areas that may lack access and training for coaches, players and volunteers.
Attending participants will be supported in creating a positive, fun and player-centered environment using U.S. Soccer’s Play-Practice-Play methodology. U.S. Soccer and CJSA welcomes individuals (coaches, volunteers, parents, etc.) of all levels who are interested in coaching children and helping make youth soccer a better experience. Each individual that attends the Coach for Community clinic will also receive a $25 voucher to access one of U.S. Soccer’s Grassroots Licensing Courses free of charge.
Thanks to U.S. Soccer partners, a number of special guests will be in attendance for the two Send-Off Series games. Visa has donated tickets to the local community for both matches, as players from the Hartford Lions Soccer Academy will attend the July 1 game while Hugh Russell, owner of local Caribbean restaurant The Russell, and guests will attend on July 5. Open since 2005, Russell is one of the only Black-owned restaurants in downtown Hartford.
The Send-Off Series will also mark the debut of CHAMP- a custom Volkswagen telepresence robot that will allow young soccer fans facing hardship to virtually participate in pregame ceremonies. On July 1, 10-year-old Luna Perrone, an avid youth soccer player recently diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, will take the field for the National Anthem with USWNT players.
At Fan HQ, U.S. Soccer’s official pregame fan activation area, attendees will enjoy music presented by MNE Events, a local Black-owned entertainment company based in nearby Windsor, Conn. DJDark Syde will bring her seven years of energetic DJ experience to Fan HQ, spinning a wide variety of tracks to keep the party flowing.
During the games, U.S. Soccer is partnering with KultureCity to make matches sensory inclusive. KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using its resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs, not just those with autism. Working to provide a positive experience for all guests and fans with sensory issues, sensory bags will be available for check out.
U.S. Soccer has also partnered with Vote.org to drive voter registration for important state and local elections that happen every year, highlighting the initiative with in-game video board graphics and stadium announcements.
COVID-19 vaccines will be available on-site at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field from Griffin Health. A free $15 concession voucher will be given to anyone vaccinated at the venue before either match.
Before the first match, U.S. Soccer will separately announce its One Nation Game Ambassador for the Send-Off Series in East Hartford. With the goal to drive positive change and uplift local community leaders through soccer, U.S. Soccer selects One Nation Game Ambassadors for their impact in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
This individual will be honored during both of the USWNT’s Send-Off Series games.
U.S. Soccer honored its first series of Game Ambassadors during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s and USWNT’s June matches. In Salt Lake City for USMNT vs. Costa Rica, the Federation honored Libby Stockstill, a youth soccer coach using the sport to give back to her under-resourced community by building a competitive club team in her area.
In Houston for the start of the USWNT’s Summer Series, Duane Scott was recognized for his work with the local chapter of the National Society of Black Sports Professionals.
At the USWNT’s match in Austin, 4ATX Foundation Director of Youth Development Jordan Marden was honored for her work with the Verde Leaders, using soccer as part of a positive youth development program.