All posts tagged Soccer:

August 25, 2009 | Comment

I’ve had the honor of cultivating a friendship with Awista since 2006 when I learned about her amazing, life-changing, power of sport work via the 2006 ESPY Awards. We quickly discovered that we shared the same passion, intention and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others via sport & play. Awista was also gracious enough to share her story about sport & play’s impact on her personal growth and her lifelong chase (aka her Red Rubber Ball!) in my recent book, The Red Rubber Ball at Work.

More Inspiration Here…

Enjoy the read & enjoy your chase…

April 12, 2009 | Comment


From the desk of Jeremy Goldberg…

Dear Friends, Family and Colleagues,

I am pleased to share with you some BIG news!.  In partnership with FUNDaFIELD and Sport Court, we are pleased to announce that Uganda will now be the home to an official Street Soccer Pitch.  This is the first Street Soccer pitch of its kind, and it will be located in Northern Uganda. This will be a space for community engagement, soccer tournaments, educational programs, and income-generating activities.

We could not have done this without the long hours and months of support and interest by a variety of individuals and colleagues, from FUNDaFIELD who builds fields for youth and kids in Africa, Sport Court’s incredible, state-of the art modular surfacing, Street Soccer USA and Africa Sports Outreach. 

In addition, through the help of our staff in Uganda, and through the efforts of volunteers in-country and soon to be headed to Uganda, we will further realize this dream in Northern Uganda… that as Kevin Carroll Katalyst says, “A ball can change your life.”

We look forward to hearing from you. Appreciate your support and feedback, and commitment to the efforts of the global sports for social change movement.  And, of course, stay tuned, there will be updates as the pitch is developed over the coming months.  The official inauguration of the pitch will take place early this summer!

Jeremy M. Goldberg

JMG continues to do “human catalyst” work for the wonderful people/souls in Northern Uganda - well done, Jeremy…well done!

March 22, 2009 | Comment

Photo Courtesy of Eric Howell

I met Eric Howell last year in Phoenix at an event and he shared his passion for his film project with me backstage. He followed up with an email and I quickly became a member of his creative support network.

From: Eric Howell
Date: July 14, 2008 12:39:10 PM CDT
To: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Subject: Ana’s Playground (Jostens Mtg.)

Hello Kevin.

Thank you for taking a few moments with me back stage at the Josten’s meeting.  Ana’s Playground has been a dream I’ve been working on for 7 years, and if you’ve had a chance to look at the information packet, you will see why I was excited to share it with you. Serendipity.

Eric Howell

2,000 Children are killed or injured in war everyday.
Help Make a Movie.
Help Make a Difference.

Mission Statement
Our intent is to produce an Oscar-worthy short film that will raise the maximum amount of awareness about war affected children by screening to the broadest audience possible. As well, we will use the film to highlight and promote those organizations working to improve the lives of children who have experienced political violence.

About Ana/Story Synopsis

“Ana’s Playground” reveals a tragic moment when children are brought to the brink of destruction and connection, ideology and humanity.

When 13 year-old Ana is chosen to retrieve the children’s soccer ball within the kill zone of a sniper, she finds a fleeting bond with her enemy despite the deadly cat-and-mouse game they must play.

In a moment of humanity, the sniper reveals the connection between children - even when caught in warfare. However, war wins this game with the ultimate loss of innocence that cannot be avoided in violent conflict.

See the film’s trailer
See More Pics
Visit the website


March 01, 2009 | Comment


I had just finished the first of two personal development sessions that I was leading, Scoring Your DREAM Goal, with a group of participating teams at the 6th Homeless World Cup tournament in early December 2008 in Melbourne Australia. The cacophony of the team’s voices and the diversity of the languages being spoken at the break of the session reverberated beautifully throughout the lecture space that unquestionably qualifies as a “design marvel”—the BMW Edge Center at Federation Square.

Amid the din of the excited voices of the players still getting familiar with their surroundings in-the-land-downundah, I was having a conversation with Kat Byles, Media Director for the HWC about the next session. A man approached me and greeted me with a broad confident smile, “Hello, I’m Alex!” I politely said hello back to him and then he said his greeting once more to be certain that I heard him correctly, “Hello, I’m Alex!” As I studied him closely, I realized that he looked quite familiar to me but, I couldn’t figure out how I knew him—each year at the HWC there are over 500 players present and it’s easy to not recognize a face.

He must have noticed my effort to place his name and face so, he provided me with some very clear context when he asked, “Have you seen the film Kicking It?” I have seen the documentary, Kicking It, dozens of times and I’m quite familiar with how it chronicles the journey of five aspiring soccer hopefuls from around the globe, each facing disparate situations such as, kicking a drug addiction, surviving in a war-torn nation, facing abject poverty or dealing with abandonment. Each of them shares their story of how they hope to score the chance to make-the-cut and wear their nation’s uniform/kit at the 3rd annual Homeless World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa. Just like one of those TV crime scene investigation programsâ?¦I quickly pieced together how I knew this man standing proudly in front of me. I exclaimed, “you’re Alex from Kenya!” He beamed and nodded his head affirming my response.

Continue reading A WDH? story...enjoy!

December 12, 2008 | 1 comment

Down under in Melbourne, Australia last week, I was interviewed by a videographer with the Homeless World Cup, who had a couple of questions for me:



What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

November 17, 2008 | Comment

Here’s an excellent video intro to Lawrence Cann, President and founder of Street Soccer USA and his work fighting homelessness through soccer.  Street Soccer USA organized this summer’s Homeless USA Cup, which determined who would represent the US in Melbourne, Australia at the Homeless World Cup in December. 

Stay tuned for much more content in the run up to this year’s Homeless World Cup!


What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

November 07, 2008 | 1 comment


Our colleague from Global Youth Partnership for Africa and Girls Kick It! fame, Anna Phillips, was recently interviewed by the folks over at Youth Noise.  Check out this excerpt: 

Youth Noise

Interview With Anna Phillips, Founder of Girls Kick It!

A few days ago, I had the chance to talk to Anna Phillips, the incredible 22-year-old founder of Girls Kick It!—a comprehensive sports program for young women in northern Uganda. Anna created Girls Kick It! with the help of Global Youth Partnership for Africa (GYPA) to empower and educate women, many of whom have been affected by war and poverty, through sportsâ?¦

“Me: How did Girls Kick It! get started?

Anna: It got started because I grew up playing sports in middle school and high school. I wrestled and played rugby. I decided to major in human rights at George Washington University after traveling to Africa the summer before I started school. It was a self-designed major that allowed me a lot of flexibility in the classes I was able to take. 

Then in January 2006, I got a chance to combine my passion for sports and human rights. I went to the Global Youth Partnership for Africa’s youth summit in Uganda. GYPA brought together American and Ugandan youth leaders who were interested and passionate about HIV/AIDS, women’s issues and reconciliation. After the summit, I worked with GYPA to create a sports programs specifically for women. There were programs where women are involved, but nothing specifically for them. With the help and support of GYPA I was able to find amazing mentors and resources to create Girls Kick It! In particular, the advice of Awista Ayub, a phenomenal woman who created a girls soccer program in Afghanistan, helped me in the early planning stages. The sports for social change movement is relatively small, and everyone was willing to help and meet with meâ?¦”

The sports for social change movement may be small compared to other initiatives that seek to foment change in people’s lives.  But the use of sport as a social change agent is happening on just about every continent.  I am confident that more young people like Anna will continue to make the connection between their individual, athletic/creative talents and using those gifts in non-traditional ways that benefit other people. 


What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

October 24, 2008 | Comment


A little over a year ago, we carried a piece on KCK blog written by a friend of mine, Drew Chafetz, about his social entrepreneurial endeavor, Luv Futbol!  Drew builds soccer fields in impoverished communities around the world. 

The Washington Post recently had an article on Drew and this concept of social entrepreneurship taking root in Generation Next: young people forgoing the corporate, high prestige track for the more uncertain but fulfilling non-profit track of working to uplift communities hard hit by poverty or war.  Check out the excerpt below: 

“Getting Kicks from His Career
Drew Chafetz, 25, still lives in his parents’ basement in Northwest—but he’s no slacker.

By Ian Shapira
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Drew Chafetz, 25, a graduate of the private Maret School with a degree in economics from the University of Colorado, makes no money. He lives with his parents in Northwest Washington, sleeping in the same poster-filled basement room of his teenage years. For breaks, he moseys outside in his slippers and kicks around a soccer ball, pretending the garage is a goal.

But Chafetz, despite failure-to-launch appearances, is no slacker. He is actually on an alternative achievement track popular with his generation: social entrepreneurship. Using cheap Internet phone service and free coffee-shop wireless, Chafetz works full time on a project he founded called love.fĂştbol. The nonprofit organization helps build low-maintenance soccer fields in Guatemalan communities where children often have no place to play except garbage-strewn lots or hard-to-reach fields.”

Read the entire article here.

If you give kids who are hemmed in by poverty a safe place to play, they can dream - bigger, brighter dreams.  They come to believe in possibilities beyond what they see around them.  Drew and other social entrepreneurs are directing their attention to the next generation and the need to keep real hope alive in them at the most fundamental level:  Play!

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

October 03, 2008 | Comment


RC Port Melbourne

This is a Rotary Project where we are partnering with other community groups to participate in a highly successful international social change program—By providing most of the volunteers to run this years Homeless World Cup to be held in Federation Square & Birrarung Place—we will be creating a model for Rotary Involvement in future HWC’s. A unique opportunity for Rotarian’s, family & friends to utilise their vocations whilst participating in an exciting project that uses sport for social change.

There are one billion homeless people in our world today.  In the USA there are 3.5 million homeless people. Here each person costs society around $60,000 a year to be homeless. It costs $40,000 per year for one place in an emergency shelter in New York.

The Homeless World Cup exists to end this so we all have a home, a basic human need.  We use football as a trigger to inspire and empower people who are homeless to change their own lives. We do this firstly by creating a world-class, annual, international football tournament; and secondly, by inspiring and supporting grass roots football projects working with homeless and socially excluded people all year round…”

Follow the link to read the entire post.

It is quite apparent that all of Melbourne, Australia is mobilizing for the upcoming Homeless World Cup, December 1-7, 2008 - why even Victoria Premier John Brumby is getting in his kicks!

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!


August 28, 2008 | Comment

Team Columbia


Thursday 28 August 2008


â?˘ 100 days until the Melbourne 2008 Homeless World Cup
â?˘ 56 nations make Melbourne 2008 the biggest Homeless World Cup ever
â?˘ Women’s Cup is a first in Homeless World Cup history
â?˘ Legacy of 30 street soccer programs rolled out across Australia
â?˘ National ambassadors unveiled

In just under 100 days, Melbourne’s Federation Square and Birrarung Marr will come alive with the grit, spirit and glory of one of the world’s most unique international sporting events—the Melbourne 2008 Homeless World Cup.

From December 1-7, 2008, 56 nations will unite in Melbourne for the biggest Homeless World Cup tournament ever, including the first Women’s Cup.

Women are making strides this year on many fronts and here’s another first: the Homeless World Cup is having its first ever Women’s Cup!  Women have always been a part of the Cup,but rarely did they get the playing time.  They would sit on the sideline and every now and then, if the game was a rout, a woman would get in at garbage time.  No more.  The women of the Homeless World Cup have their own thing this year and the spotlight, now, will shine firmly on them.  And one thing I can tell you from experience: these women can PLAY!

(Follow the link below to read the entire HWC press release)


What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

August 19, 2008 | 3 comments

From the Millennial Challenge blog:

Red Ball Drop Day #5: Finale!

My last official day for the Red Ball Drop in Uganda, and Ball Drop #23 and #24, took place at the ENGAGE Uganda, Namuwongo Youth Soccer Tournament (attended by over 500 people) and Uganda’s School for the Disabled. 10 youth from GYPA who live in Namuwongo, some of which also participate in Gomo Tong Football Club, participated in sporting matches with the children and youth including, hand ball and tug-o-war. View the photos here and more details coming soon!

Red Ball Drop #23 - Namuwongo
We distributed 5 Special Edition Kevin Carroll Katalyst Red Balls for the ENGAGE Uganda, Namuwongo Youth Soccer Tournament, which included more than 80 children in the matches.

Red Ball Drop #24 - Mengo
We distributed 4 Special Edition Kevin Carroll Katalyst Red Balls and 5 Molten Balls to over 200 children and youth.


In just 5 days here are the numbers:

Number of Red Balls and Molten Balls Distributed: 162
Number of Cities and Towns: 10
Number of Districts: 3
Number of Ball Drop Sites: 23
Estimated number of Ball Drop Uganda Beneficiaries: 3,000

The GYPA staff will embark on Ball Drops in Gulu later this week, and some of the balls will be used for the Gomo Tong Football Club preparations and practices for Homeless World Cup Melbourne.

Stay tuned…


Jeremy Goldberg and Global Youth Partnership for Africa are on the front lines of the sport for social change movement. A lot of dreaming happens when kids are at play, kicking a ball around a yard or field.  GYPA’s ball drops are like dream catchers, dream makers for kids.  A ball can change a life. 

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!

August 08, 2008 | Comment

It is truly a big world and the problems in it often require that those with more give to those with not quite as much.  Sport that creates or helps facilitate social change often requires travel - because the children of most struggling nations bear the brunt of poverty, disease and war.  Here is another story of people seeing a need - far away from home - and using the time and talent that they possess to help kids in need…

From Seacoast Online:

Soccer goal: Seacoast United’s goodwill trip to Kenya’s ‘win-win’
A girl’s homemade soccer ball puts life in perspective

By Mike Sullivan
August 03, 2008 6:00 AM

Life is all about perspective. Our perceptions of what is good, bad, beautiful, ugly or anything in between depend on the individual and what his or her collective experiences have been. Paul Willis and Matt Glode, the executive director and director of youth programs for Seacoast United Soccer Club in Hampton, recently got a crash course in perspective.

The pair embarked on a goodwill trip to Kenya, spending three days conducting a workshop for Kenyan leaders of youth sports organizations, and then spent four days assisting with a four-day clinic for as many as 60 girls a day…


Eve, 16, is the mother of a 1-year-old child, which is commonplace in Kenya. Eve loves soccer so much she actually plays it, which isn’t commonplace in Kenya. Girls playing sports is, by and large, frowned upon. And that’s putting it mildly.

Eve would sneak away from her home to locations where her parents couldn’t find her so she could play. If her father found out, he would beat her. The beatings didn’t stop her, though.

One day, her father was walking home from work and he heard a bunch of boys in a field calling Eve’s name. He stopped to find out what was going on and couldn’t believe his eyes. The boys were calling to her because they wanted the ball—she was the best player on the field.

From then on, the beatings stopped. The father understood. He realized this was good for his daughter and that soccer could, just maybe, help her find a better life…

Follow the link below to read the whole story…

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!


July 22, 2008 | 1 comment

All good things begin with a plan.  “Kicking It”, the just released documentary on the 2006 Homeless World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa was a part of a plan by AOL executive Ted Leonsis:

How Ted Leonsis’ Snag Films Came To Be:

“I wanted to make films that had a double-bottom line - movies that had a return on their investment, but which also righted a wrong, or spurred viewers to social action. I began to think about the concept of ‘filmanthropy,’ believing that filmmakers could transform the energy created by a film that shined the light on injustice, or which exposed a social need, into greater audience participation…I learned that many great documentaries, released even two or three years ago and having run through their traditional distribution, are now hard to find, and large media companies want an easy way to have these films connect with an audience.”

Go to the Snag Films website and “watch full-length documentary films for free…and put them anywhere on the web. When you embed a widget on your web site, you open a virtual movie theater and become a “Filmanthropist…”  With a library of 225 documentaries, and rapidly growing—browse by topic or go through the alphabet from A-Z—you’re bound to find films that resonate with your interests.

For some, art is excessively highbrow, while sports is looked at as the domain of the uncultured.  What do you get when you combine the power of the artistic & athletic mediums with a powerful socio-political motive?  A third stream, ‘Filmanthropy,’ awareness, social change.  We’ve already seen this hybridization occur and we’re destined to see more in the coming years: seemingly incompatible disciplines cobbled together out of creative necessity and brought to bear on real problems in a rapidly changing world.

Sounds exciting.

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!


July 08, 2008 | 1 comment

From the Sports Academic blog:

Sport as Socializing Agent

I would like to begin a conversation on sports acting as socializing activities. Scott and I have talked around this issue some in other posts and comments. The general theory is that sports serve the interests of society by teaching practitioners and spectators behaviors needed or prized in a given time and place. This means that the same sport may socialize practitioners and spectators differently when the historical and social contexts change.

Speaking generally, Victorian era British sports, for example, emphasize social etiquette and restraint. American sports, on the other hand, tend to blatantly defy British decorum and, in the case of baseball, attempt to erase European genealogy. Instead, craftiness (cheating?) and a dogged determination to win are prized. “Stealing,” is even permissible.

I attended a “Philosophy of Sport” conference in England in 2004. Most of the attendees were European and I surprised some when I mentioned that in America, soccer is largely a sport for the upper middle class, played in wealthy suburbs. In Europe, it is a decidedly working class sport, and the matches often attract many disenfranchised, unemployed young men looking to take their anger out on the opposing team or its fans.

I offer these two general examples merely as primers. Over the next few weeks, I invite you to join me in analyzing the socializing effects of a number of sports and games: golf (yes, there is more to be said), tennis, soccer, baseball, fencing, trictrac, football, basketball, and maybe racquetball, rodeo, hockey, and others you might suggest.

What societal values are transmitted through sport/play?  How does that process vary by class, race or gender?  How do sport and play impact the maintenance of, or evolution of societal values?

Observed superficially, sport and play seem trivial, but as the “Sports Academic” demonstrates, sport is a mirror of who we are and studying sport and play can offer unusual insights into our culture and ourselves.  Those careful observations and insights can help lead - if we are motivated and wise - to change.

What’s your Red Rubber Ball?!