From Sept. 8-11th leaders in sports, business, government, and the nonprofit sector came together in Philadelphia for the annual Beyond Sport Summit, highlighting successes, lessons learned, innovations, and opportunities in sport for development. Several members of the Grassroot Soccer (GRS) team had the opportunity to share their expertise at the Summit.

On Sept. 8th, GRS Co-Founder and Beyond Sport Ambassador Ethan Zohn spoke at Beyond Soccer, an event powered by streetfootballworld in conjunction with the Beyond Sport Summit. Beyond Soccer is the first international event in the USA focusing purely on the power of the world’s most popular sport to tackle social issues like poverty, disease and lack of education.

Ethan Zohn at Beyond Soccer

Ethan Zohn, second from left, speaks at Beyond Soccer

During the panel of top leaders in the soccer for development space, Zohn spoke about how GRS’s mission goes beyond giving young people access to sport by delivering a health intervention using soccer as the tool. He spoke about two particular GRS strengths: partnerships and evaluation. GRS prides itself on taking into consideration the needs of the partner in addition to our own needs. On the topic of evaluation, he stressed how the early decision GRS made to monitor and continuously evaluate our curriculum has led to greater impact.

Zohn remarked: “As a Beyond Sport Ambassador and co-founder of GRS, I’m honored and proud to speak at Beyond Soccer about all the life saving work GRS is doing around the world. I was inspired to dig deep and learn about all the creative soccer for social change programs working hard to create change. Beyond Soccer is an essential part of this process, bringing together corporate, government and charitable organizations that understand that soccer is a great tool for making a difference. We had great discussions, now the key is that everyone goes out there and does something with what they learned.

Beyond Sport roundtable

GRS facilitators co-hosting a workshop with Barclays.

As part of Beyond Sport’s commitment to knowledge sharing, Grassroot Soccer was invited to facilitate two workshops in collaboration with Barclays Bank during the conference. The interactive workshops provided background to Barclays’ global community investment strategy and highlighted how Grassroot Soccer, in our capacity as a delivery partner of the Barclays ‘Spaces for Sports’ program, has successfully integrated financial literacy modules into our existing HIV prevention curriculum. During the workshop, GRS facilitators Peter “Hooter” Glidden and Jamison Merrill, alongside partners from Barclays, outlined benefits this integration has brought to the program and lessons learned along the way.

Grassroot Soccer is proud to be a part of the Beyond Sport movement!