#GrowTheGame project launched – U.S. soccer to benefit

Soccer Support recently announced that San Diego had been selected as the pilot city for its #GrowTheGame project. The event is to be held on the weekend of 14 & 15 of April and San Diego was chosen due to its rich soccer history and potential to grow into a real hub for the sport over the next decade. It has a real ‘yes we can’ attitude and we believe it will provide the perfect template for America to follow in the second half of 2012.

Local clubs will now benefit from the additional exposure generated by #GrowTheGame San Diego and have a new avenue in which to showcase themselves to potential new players, volunteers, sponsors and to build links with other clubs to share best practices.

And it’s not just the clubs that stand to benefit. The fun and simple ways that #GrowTheGameSD can empower soccer fans to celebrate the game they love should not be underestimated.

There are millions of supporters, players and families involved with the sport here in America with no platform to contribute. Soccer Support (through #GrowTheGame) is starting this process by identifying fans, like those here in San Diego, who want to help grow the game.

The whole premise of the #GrowTheGame event is that we wanted people to celebrate the sport and bring much needed attention back to the grassroots of the game. Building better clubs, attracting new volunteers and sponsors, supporting best practices and skill sharing with teams across the country is the recipe for success – not a top down blueprint, but an open discussion about how everyone can get involved and help drive a new cultural change for Americas sporting landscape and what better place to start it but right here in Southern California (if it’s good enough for the MLS Cup to call home, then its good enough for us!).

The beauty of #GrowTheGame is its simplicity and in just 3 easy steps fans are contributing to positive outcomes for the sport. They include;

1. Signing a pledge to help #GrowTheGame

2. Registering a soccer related event for the 14th or 15th of April (for example: a pick-up soccer game, a beach soccer scrimmage or even just a commitment to wear your favorite soccer jersey all day).

3. Promote your event by telling friends, family and the community (via email, Facebook, Twitter and other social media) & encourage them to join in the local celebrations.

Much of the feedback about the event has been extremely positive with groups from St Louis and New York already asking when it’s their turn to #GrowTheGame. The good news is soon, but first we want to concentrate all this positive energy from fans towards a successful pilot in San Diego.

Why San Diego? That’s easy. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, San Diego had one of the highest TV viewership’s and given the city doesn’t yet have a MLS or WPS franchise it made sense to come here and create the grassroots impact the city yearns for and ultimately deserves.

The pilot in San Diego will also act as a report card for the MLS/WPS to consider San Diego as a potential destination for future league expansion so we hope that local fans embrace this opportunity with both hands.

Fans, players and clubs in San Diego are encouraged to sign-up today at http://www.growthegame.us and help soccer in San Diego reach its potential.  A range of resources are also available to help participants host and promote their events.

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