Soccer is an amazing sport that inspires dedication, strength, and compatriotism in its players. Most sports tend to use their competitive nature to inspire arrogance, but soccer differs by valuing each different skillset equally. This designation lets the people who play soccer feel inspired and important, which makes a huge impact on self-esteem. That is part of the reason why the Twin Cities organization created the Street Soccer teams to help the youth of today. So many young people are at-risk, homeless, or even refugees, and their environments do not inspire prosperity or positivity. Through the Street Soccer Twin Cities organization, these endangered kids have managed to find support, strength, and opportunities for greatness. They are taking the world by storm, one soccer ball at a time.
In Philadelphia, a tournament was held earlier this month. Twenty five teams from 25 states participated the 2017 Street Soccer Cup in Philadelphia. Unsurprisingly, the Twin Cities street soccer teams were crowned victorious—both the boys’ team and the girls’ team were winners. Thanks to the hard work and valiant efforts of the staff at Twin Cities, these kids overcame all of the obstacles in their path and became champions. Consisting of men’s coach Soren Smogard-Ayers and women’s coach Hani Haybe, the staff have consistently made a difference in these lives. Sure, the teams won the 2017 tournament, but this was certainly not their first victory. The Street Soccer players toured the east coast, playing in city after city and winning three different championships. The boys team and the girls team both took home the Social Change cups, and they won the Young Adults cup as well. Their capacity for success knows no bounds.
Because of their triumph in the United States, six of these incredible players have been selected by their phenomenal coaches to travel to Norway for a soccer competition that has representation from around the world. They get to show their talent and determination in honor of their country, as others from nations around the world will be doing. This exciting opportunity for travel and adventure would not have been possible for the majority of these kids otherwise, and it is just one of the many ways in which the organization is benefiting the at-risk youth. Twin Cities has been using soccer as tool to help improve the lives of kids, and in turn, soccer has given them opportunity, hope, and confidence, allowing these kids to set and achieve bigger and better goals with their lives.
Photo credit: Twin Cities Street Soccer