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unnamed-1 THE ASPIRE GROUP TO HOST HOMELESS SOCCER TOURNAMENT

PRESS RELEASE

The Aspire Group to Host Homeless Soccer Tournament
The tournament will be played at Station Soccer in MARTA Five Points

ATLANTA
(Mar. 28, 2017) – The Aspire Group will host the first Homeless Soccer Tournament at ‘Station Soccer- Five Points‘, this Friday March 31 st at 1 PM. The tournament will be the celebration of the first month of Soccer in the Streets’ Homeless Soccer Programs.
The Aspire Group was instrumental to Soccer in the Streets’ initiative to reach out and integrate young adults – currently without a home – with positive activities.

Digital assets from sessions found here.
“As ‘Station Soccer‘ was becoming a reality, we saw the challenges here and wanted to be a force for good,” said Jill Robbins, Soccer in the Streets’ Chief Program Officer. “We’re in their neighborhood and we wanted to make sure that these young people felt included, not judged. The Aspire Group gave us the push to kick-start this program, which signified an opportunity to walk the walk when it comes to inclusiveness and demonstrating that all kids deserve the chance to succeed,” Robbins added.

“The Aspire Group is proud to support the Atlanta Homeless Soccer League and to underwrite the first ever Homeless Soccer Tournament to be held at the MARTA Five Points pitch on Friday March 31st at 1PM,” said Bernie Mullin, Chairman and Founder of the Aspire Group. “We are honored to partner with Soccer In the Streets on this much-needed initiative. Having had several of our staff, including myself, attend the practices leading up to the Tournament our hearts are warmed to see how much fun these young people are having and the teamwork they are building among themselves. Most of these folks have lived very tough lives on our Atlanta streets at a very young age. It is so good to see many of them living in transitional housing, working together in learning and enjoying a new sport and positioning themselves for the next steps in their lives and careers.”

Since its inception in early March, the homeless program has provided an outlet for teenagers to build a community, finding a sense of belonging that is very difficult to provide given their circumstances. The program affords both youth and adults a safe space to get involved in healthy activities, focusing on positive engagement with other young adults their age.

Not allowing their current situation to define who they are and who they will become is one of the most difficult challenges faced by organizations that work with homeless teenagers and young adults. This program seeks to break a potentially toxic routine, providing an outlet to physical activity and camaraderie amongst the players. The Homeless Youth Program has provided a great way to relieve the stress of homelessness, develop new friendships and feel supported by the community.

The program, developed on the basis of the importance of implementing a community-based sports activity for homeless young adults, allows participants to build their support network, which in turn, can provide them with information and resources to assist them in breaking out of their current cycle.

For KJ, an Ethiopian immigrant currently staying in a shelter, the program allows him to “find a support system and feel like I belong somewhere.” “Soccer in the Streets is helping me not to let my current situation define me or make me pass on good opportunities that come my way. I see a way out,” said KJ, just after kicking it with his newfound friends.

Soccer in the Streets homeless youth program at ‘Station Soccer‘ will run every Friday.

ABOUT SOCCER IN THE STREETS
Soccer in the Streets empowers underserved youth through sports-based training, character development, mentoring, and employability programs. Our organization serves in a holistic and comprehensive way, reaching kids on the field, in small-group classroom sessions, through hands-on experiences and activities, and participation in youth leadership councils. We are extremely efficient, making great use of the resources we have been given to achieve the mission. Find out more about Station Soccer – Five Points MARTA Station and Soccer in the Streets at: www.stationsoccer.com and www.soccerstreets.org, and follow @soccerstreets.

Media Contacts:

Chanelle Belton – the Aspire Group – chanelle.belton@theaspiregroupinc.com

JOSE DEVAREZ – Director, Development and Communications, Soccer in the Streets jose@soccerstreets.org

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