In June 2010 Metro Soccer, through the use of its non-for-profit company Play, Study, Win, Inc., launched its inaugural New York City Schools World Cup Tournament. Play, Study, Win works throughout the year to put soccer into after-school programs in many underprivileged schools across New York City and to date has worked with over 250 schools across the five boroughs.
Successful World Cup Tournament Last Summer
Last summer, with help from the South African consulate of New York, Metro Soccer selected 32 schools to partner with 32 adult teams and staged a World Cup Tournament. Each school and adult team partnership would represent a team in the 2010 World Cup and would work to support and mentor each other as they took to the field. For the kids, the program starts six weeks prior to the tournament with weekly soccer lessons combined with educational lessons on the country they are representing and the history of soccer.
Learning about New Countries and Cultures
This year, the tournament has returned but, without a major tournament to identify with, the teams and schools have been allowed to select their own countries with whom they would like to learn about and represent. The coaching and educational components are already well under way for the children as teams are still being selected for the adult portion consisting of 16 Men's and 16 Co-Ed teams. The children's tournament will take place the weekend of June 11-12 in Brooklyn and the Adult Tournament will take place June 18-19 on Randall's Island.
This program is one which really exposes soccer to children whom might never have experienced the game otherwise.More importantly however, beyond learning the basic skills of soccer and the essence of teamwork, the children gain a cultural understanding of the beautiful game and are exposed to international understanding on many levels. At a time when soccer is at a moral and ethical crisis in the global professional game, these are the people and programs which enable us to remember what established soccer as such a cultural and social equalizer to begin with.
We certainly hope you follow the progress of this tournament at http://facebook.com/metrosoccerny and for more information about the program itself please go to http://playstudywin.org.
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