<div>US Youth Soccer, the nation's largest youth sports association, is excited to kickoff the seventh annual Youth Soccer Month – Celebrating Soccer in America
on Sept. 1, and the celebration continues throughout the month promoting the benefits of soccer.
"US Youth Soccer takes great pride in spearheading the Youth Soccer Month initiative to further promote the benefits of fun, family, friendship and fitness associated in playing this wonderful sport," said Larry Monaco, president of US Youth Soccer. "Soccer continues to grow with more children in the United States participating in organized soccer than any other sport. This celebration furthers US Youth Soccer's mission to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America's youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition."
Youth Soccer Month 2009 includes working with local leadership to organize grassroots public affairs campaigns, numerous local events and media relations initiatives.
There are currently 50 college events
scheduled, seven NSCAA Games of the Week
on Fox Soccer Channel, US Youth Soccer's official broadcast partner, and at least seven events slated with Major League Soccer
, where US Youth Soccer serves as official grassroots partner to the league. Spectators will receive Youth Soccer Month fans to celebrate. Select spectators will receive Youth Soccer Month T-shirts.
""Since 2004, MLS has supported US Youth Soccer's Youth Soccer Month initiative as a way to communicate the many benefits associated with playing soccer,"" said Neel Shah, MLS director of fan development. ""We see Youth Soccer Month as a great way to support current players and open doors to future players. Joining US Youth Soccer in this effort is a benefit to everyone involved in the sport and I encourage all to join the celebration.""
""The NSCAA is proud to promote Youth Soccer Month through our relationship with Fox Soccer Channel and the NSCAA College Game of the Week broadcasts,"" said Joe Cummings, NSCAA CEO and executive director. ""Youth Soccer Month extends our game's reach by highlighting the benefits of the game to young people throughout the world. A watch party is an excellent way for our member coaches to educate their teams by encouraging them to watch the great soccer being played by former youth players now at the collegiate level.""
US Youth Soccer is continuing the Youth Soccer Month Giant Jersey Tour
for its second year. A Youth Soccer Month branded SUV will be touring events across America to share the excitement and promote the benefits of soccer. A life-size Stickley, the US Youth Soccer mascot, will be traveling on the SUV to blog
and take pictures with fans at events and major landmarks along the tour's route.
Follow Youth Soccer Month on Twitter @soccermonth
to learn more about how to get involved in Youth Soccer Month and find out when the Giant Jersey Tour will be making surprise stops near you. Become a fan of Youth Soccer Month on Facebook
and add photos if you spot the Giant Jersey Tour or of you and your friends celebrating Youth Soccer Month.
How can you celebrate?
Each week during Youth Soccer Month a different key will be the focus of Celebrating Soccer in America.
The four messages of Youth Soccer month are:
· Fun: (Week of September 1)
Whether recreational or competitive in nature, involvement in soccer is easy, affordable and rewarding.
· Family: (Week of September 7)
Playing soccer ties families together as schedules, vacations and family time are coordinated.
· Friendship: (Week of September 14)
The relationships generated through playing soccer extend beyond the field.
· Fitness: (Week of September 21)
The health and fitness (physical, psychological and social) benefits of playing soccer.
Since its inception, state and local government officials have officially proclaimed September as Youth Soccer Month to further the awareness and benefits of youth soccer. Utah leads the celebration by achieving a renewing proclamation naming September as Youth Soccer Month. Click here
for a map of states that have proclaimed and learn how you can ask your state to proclaim Youth Soccer Month.
Join the national celebration of Youth Soccer Month today. Learn more at www.YouthSoccerMonth.org
on how to get involved and share your ideas.