Why Soccer Counts
Some research groups have identified a list of essential
tools and materials kids need to grow up to be healthy, constructive
- Love and support
- Appropriate boundaries and discipline
- Involvement in positive, structured activities
- Nurtured with a commitment to education and learning
- Instilled with positive values and commitments
- Improved skills to build self-confidence
We recognize these as common-sense requirements, but sometimes
we also forget about these in the rush of our daily lives.
With reflection we also recognize that they can all be part
of our communities "blueprint" for raising our children
and teenagers. By intentionally putting energy into building
these positive things, we guide and nurture our young people
to be healthy and caring. The CLEATS program specifically
focuses on the role of soccer, to help construct healthy,
positive human beings. And we are not alone.
value of sports for human health and development, the United
Nations declared 2005 the International Year of Sport and
Physical Education. And as a result the UN is promoting sports-with
the world's most popular sport: soccer-as the tool for bridging
cultural and ethnic divisions and for improving quality of
life for people around the world.
"Sport can play a role
in improving the lives of whole communities," says U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "I am convinced that the
time is right to build on that understanding, to encourage
governments, development agencies and communities to think
how sport can be included more systematically in the plans
to help children.."
The importance and the value of soccer
in the developing lives of child is understood and recognized
in the United States. 92% of Americans, more than 9 in 10,
recognize that participating in sports is an important part
of youth development, and nearly 89% see that participating
in sports helps build good character in their children.
all Americans (93%) say there are positive values for children
associated with participating in sports, but what is also
extremely interesting is that Americans also feel that children
who do not actually play sports can still learn important
values. Four in five Americans
(80%) agree with the statement "kids who do not participate
in sports can still learn important values by watching or
attending sporting events."
Our CLEATS board members have seen this: That during training
friends of our players improve their behavior, and this is
also born out when these same children attend matches.