Across the world, people of all ages gather at their local soccer field to play the game they love. However, it’s about so much more than a game. Soccer allows people to connect: players support one another and social barriers such as race, ethnicity, and class are broken down both on and off the field. Soccer is a common language that unites people from diverse backgrounds.
In Pittsburgh, we want to intentionally create a space where these social benefits can be realized by our citizens, both foreign-born and Pittsburghers alike. While substantial efforts are being made to make Pittsburgh more welcoming and livable through various programs and initiatives, one major cultural asset in continually overlooked: sport. We believe that intentional soccer-based activities are a vehicle for positive social impact in immigrant, refugee and marginalized communities in Pittsburgh for several reasons, but mostly because of the global appeal, relatively low cost to play, and inherent communal aspects of the game. Our soccer leagues invite immigrants and refugees to connect with their soccer-loving neighbors in communities around the city. We create safe spaces to bring together teenagers and adults from the same community, who might not otherwise cross paths, to build relationships that support the inclusion and integration of refugees and immigrants in Pittsburgh. We’ll partner with community organizations, cultural groups, and resettlement agencies to ensure an expansive program. Activities will be provided at no cost to the participants and will promote cross cultural integration using the values inherent to the sport of soccer such as teamwork, unity, and social inclusion.
Everyone is welcome to join. It doesn’t matter what language you speak. We all speak soccer.