This program called NextPlay is using soccer to promote social good.
NextPlay is a six-week program that works with volunteers in local communities to teach soccer to young kids, while also promoting values like leadership, teamwork and community service.
“This program has a real important future in us developing the game, but more importantly, promoting social values: leadership, gender equality, working with best practice, creating a safe environment for the young people,” explained Concacaf’s Jason Roberts. “So what NextPlay will leave behind is coaches who are capacitated to deliver football and those social values, but also young people who have been affected by sport and are now in a position to become mentors for new young people.”
NextPlay is a new initiative from Concacaf, which is the governing body for soccer in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Roberts, who is Concacaf’s director of development, and a former professional Premier League player, knows firsthand how soccer can serve a higher cause.
“I think football has the opportunity to leverage people’s love for the game and direct it in a way that champions social values,” he stated.
NextPlay is currently a pilot program — it was launched in May 2018 in five different Caribbean nations.