nikegamechlogoOn March 4th, Grassroot Soccer was named one of three winners of the Ashoka/Nike Sport for a Better World Collaborative Competition. In all, 382 Sports for Development organizations from 69 countries submitted entries for the collaborative competition, making this Ashoka’s most competitive contest to date.

A panel of prestigious judges, basing their decisions on the entrants’ innovation, social impact, and sustainability, then selected 16 finalists. Competition judges included FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta, Nike CEO Mark Parker, and UNICEF Executive Director Ann Venema. By funding this competition, Ashoka and Nike seek to “open a worldwide search for leading innovations that use sport to improve community, accelerate development and drive social change.”

After the finalists were selected, thousands of Changemakers community members voted to select the three winners. As a winner, GRS garners $5,000, massive exposure to innovators and investors, as well as technical support from Ashoka and Nike.

“It is an incredible honor for Grassroot Soccer to be named an Ashoka Changemaker,” said GRS Founder and CEO Tommy Clark, MD. “This collaborative competition has provided an invaluable platform to showcase innovation in the Sports for Development field.”

The other competition winners are Sports4Kids, a U. S. based organization that supports good health and athleticism by providing unstaffed, low income elementary schools with a full time coach, and the Brazilian Rede Jovem Project, which sends free text messages about social, educational, civic, employment, and athletic opportunities to local youth in the hope of lessening the information access disparities that low income youth face.

Click here for more information, or to read about other entrants.