The mission of Amplified Soccer Athlete is to not only aggregate training resources and create new content to support athletes in their journey to become better but also to inspire you to enhance the community and the world through soccer. There are a multitude of options to give back to the game in your local community and around the globe. Each issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete highlights a story of individuals, clubs or organizations involved in contributing to a better world.
No matter how difficult you think your life is there’s always someone facing tougher challenges. It’s important to build a soccer community that focuses not only on the highest levels of the sport but on all levels to give everyone that wants to play an opportunity to participate, whether it be someone in a financially underprivileged area or someone with physical or mental disabilities.
Giving back is the idea of giving, getting nothing in return. It is giving back to the world you live in. You receive no benefits, no recognition and nothing tangible gets sent your way. Your only reward is the realization that you've made an impact in someone’s life. And there are lots of ways to give back. Contributions can be financial, physical (volunteering) or simply through supporting a cause you care about by letting people know about it through social media and online or your own offline network.
Whether you donate money or time, giving back is beneficial--and not just for the recipients. Research has shown that volunteering is good for your health and your happiness. Besides feeling good about yourself for doing something for others, giving back is also good for your physical health. Studies have shown that people who volunteer live longer. For young athletes, it’s a great way to begin building a resume, making friends and developing good habits that they will have with them the rest of their lives.
Find something that you care about and find a way to support it. A lot of us of have been truly blessed by this sport and want to be able to give back to it. Your support doesn't have to go directly back to soccer. It may be a cause outside of the sport that you care about. Following your passion is key. A few of the causes that we care about and support are below. We encourage you to check them out. We also encourage you to check out FlipGive as an online fundraising platform.
Special Olympics Unified Sports®
Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams do that, too and much more. Half a million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way.
In the first issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete, we highlighted Special Olympics Unified Sports©. We caught up with Clint Armistead, Director of Sports, Special Olympics Kansas and Nick Nickell and Connor Byers Unified Soccer teammates from Bonner Springs High School (Bonner Springs, KS) to hear from them on their involvement in Unified Soccer. Nick and Connor were recently nominated to be part of the Kansas "All-Star" team that will play a match at Sporting Park in Kansas City against a Special Olympics team from Colorado.
Read the interview in Amplified Soccer Athlete.
Visit the Special Olympics website.
American Challenge Warrior G balls
The new Warrior ball is being used by American Challenge as a fundraiser to help in the fight against cancer. Cancer hit pretty close to home for American Challenge a few years ago when a good friend of theirs found out that his daughter, named Layla, had cancer. Three years have passed and all is well but it was a hard fight. Layla and her family discovered a world of support from friends and strangers. In partnership with Layla, American Challenge will be donating $10.00 from the sale of the Warrior balls and $15.00 from the sale of the Warrior G balls to a charity of Layla's choice. To read the full story and see what the donations go to, follow them on Facebook and check out their website.
Headers for Hope
Headers for Hope was established in honor of every individual who has been diagnosed with cancer; every family member who has held the hand of their loved one being treated for cancer; and all friends acting as a support system to someone who has been told the news they have cancer. Unfortunately, cancer more often than not hits home which means this organization was established for you.
Founder of Headers For Hope and long-time soccer sports industry veteran Louise Waxler created the Foundation in loving memory of her good friend who passed away after her two-year battle with this deadly disease. By combining her passion for sports and her passion for helping those win their fight against cancer, Headers For Hope was born.
Michelle Akers Horse Rescue & Outreach
After retiring, Michelle's passion is focused on horses through her public charity, Michelle Akers Horse Rescue and Outreach, Inc. At her 8-acre farm near Atlanta GA, she provides sanctuary, healing, and potentially happy homes to hurting and unwanted horses, as well as, facilitating community outreach, leadership/personal development, awareness about horses and their herd culture, and connection and partnership between horses and humans. Michelle also works with athletes as individuals and small groups to help them reach their potential fitness, strength, mentality, and over all goals in competition and sport.
To learn more and support Michelle's Horse Rescue & Outreach, Click Here
Abby Romanisko has set-up a fundraising campaign here to support Michelle Akers Horse Rescue & Outreach.
The Soccer Queens in Kenya, Africa
Amos Kimani is the coach of a soccer team called Soccer Queens, located in the heart of the Dagoretti District of Nairobi, Africa. His team helps community girls stay motivated to attend school and further their education while playing soccer. The majority of the players come from difficult backgrounds, making them particularly vulnerable to the everyday dangers posed by poverty, unemployment, and lack of parental care. The amazing part about the Soccer Queens squad, is that it is a place where the girls can be themselves when they feel like they have nowhere else to go. Coach Amos welcomes all different types of players, from national team players to high school players, to come be a part of something greater. The team gives the girls opportunities to obtain scholarships to different schools, helping them receive an education that they may never have had the chance to afford.
Amplified Soccer is also proud to partner with FlipGive. The partnership is designed to help the grassroots soccer community raise funds to play the game they love. FlipGive is an online fundraising platform that provides athletes and sports teams with a fast, easy and free way to raise money online. If you are looking for ways to grow your charity or organizations funds, we encourage you to check out FlipGive as a tool to support your efforts.
Are there particular causes that are important to you? If you have a cause that you would like us to highlight on our website or a future addition of Amplified Soccer Athlete, please let us know about it by contacting Chris Burt at firstname.lastname@example.org.