December 20, 2018
What an amazing year it has been!!! In March, we launched as an organization and implemented two impact programs, Soccer to Achieve where soccer is used as a tool to teach children in ethnically diverse neighborhoods entrepreneurship, and Playback where we donate used soccer equipment to our brothers and sisters in Africa and the Caribbean. In conjunction with Industrial Bank, the only black owned bank in Washington, DC, to date we have operated three Soccer to Achieve pilot clinics mainly in and around the Washington, DC-Baltimore region, and we plan to expand to 10 clinics as we slowly and strategically make our way to the West Coast.
As for our Playback program, through our international partners, we have donated over 100 pounds of soccer balls, uniforms, cleats, pinnies, and cones to various clubs in Grenada, Jamaica, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean, and to Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda in Africa. There are a total of 28 Caribbean nations and 54 African countries totaling 82 countries, so we are well short of reaching each and every nation. It is our mission in the next five to ten years to reach each and every country in the Caribbean and Africa.
We have a lot planned in 2019, including the launch of the Club Development Grant (CDG) and Coaching Education Grant (CEG) programs. For our CDG program to apply you must be a BSMA member and serve an ethnically diverse community. No exceptions. Our mission for this program is specific and we look for members who provide long-term sustainable programming, not one off clinics.
For our CEG program, we want to prepare our members for long term success by issuing grants for United States Soccer Federation (USSF) courses only. We will not issue grants for programs who offer Diplomas. Our mission is clear, combat the 0% MLS and NWSL head coaches, along with the 4.5% of African-Americans who coach in the NCAA. Take note, black players in MLS make up 31% of the league and continue to be among the top exports to Europe, yet there are zero head coaches.
There are several other strategic partnerships brewing to impact us inside and outside of the business of soccer that you will learn of in 2019. As the 2026 World Cup approaches, things will get even more complicated and even more challenging as soccer in the country continues to grow with billions of dollars expected to be invested in the sport. So we must be prepared financially, educationally, and politically to stay in the game and make an impact….TOGETHER. How great it feels to be free and have control over the impact of OUR community.
Thank you very much for your support in 2018 and we look forward to a wonderful 2019!
Happy Kwanzaa and Merry Christmas,
“Believe in the Process”