Press release from Asheville City Soccer Club:
Asheville City Soccer Club is proud to introduce “Just Play,” an initiative to broaden access to soccer in our hometown. Just Play strives to break down systemic barriers in American soccer, starting in our own neighborhoods.
Imagine every kid in our community having a soccer ball, pick-up games in the street or any available space, and a style of play in Asheville that is as diverse and electric as the global game.
“From our Club’s launch in 2017, we aspired to present a local solution to the effort in American soccer to produce players who can compete on the world stage,” says ACSC President Ryan Kelley, “The United States has won three World Cups, and we know from the women’s side and countries around the world what it takes to produce world class talent,” says Meghann Burke, Director of Public Affairs.
Just Play is founded with the belief that playing soccer leads to positive outcomes across a wide range of areas, including health, academic achievement, psychological well-being, and future career success.
“With Just Play, we seek to strip the game down to its purest form, to bring back the simplicity that makes soccer the beautiful game. We believe that the next generation of American soccer must be as diverse, creative, and resilient as the game demands if we are to compete on the world stage.”
Just Play is implemented through four pillars that focus on what makes the world’s game beautiful: its simplicity.
Pillar 1: All you need is a ball. Asheville City will donate a ball to an economically disadvantaged youth in our community in the name of every season ticket holder.
Pillar 2: Play anywhere. The world over, the game is played in streets, alleys, and on dirt patches. Beginning this fall, Asheville City will feature open play pickup at Open Streets Asheville and will support street soccer and pickup games throughout our community.
Pillar 3: Connect with role models. We know it matters when kids see role models who look like them and have shared experiences. The world’s game is diverse and so is Asheville City Soccer Club, and we will play with and teach the game to youth citywide.
Pillar 4: Get inspired. Asheville City renews its commitment to free or discounted admission to all games for children
12 and under.
To view the Just Play video released this week, please click here.