Grassroot Soccer (GRS), along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Global Empowerment Mission, is honored to be the recipient of the Three Hearts Award from The Pelé Foundation, which recognizes a soccer player and nonprofit organization who have had a significant positive contribution that aids and empowers children through educational, anti-poverty, or health efforts.

GRS is being honored for its leadership in adolescent health over the past 20 years, while Ronaldo is being recognized for his commitment to charitable children’s causes. The legendary PelĂ©, widely celebrated as one of the greatest soccer players of all time and a three-time FIFA World Cup Winner, announced the award earlier today amidst soccer’s moment in the global spotlight during this year’s tournament. 

After retiring from football in 1977, PelĂ© has used his fame to work for causes ranging from world peace to international children’s rights and poverty alleviation. In 2018, PelĂ© launched his namesake global legacy foundation, The PelĂ© Foundation, to benefit organizations around the world and their dedicated efforts to empower children, specifically around poverty and education.

Grassroot Soccer is driven by the belief that soccer has the unique power to engage young people around their health and build healthier communities. We are honored and grateful to have one of the sport’s foremost icons recognize GRS’s impact using the beautiful game to reach more than 18 million young people, building their assets (health knowledge and the confidence to use it), improving their access to high-quality health services, and increasing their adherence to crucial treatments and healthy behaviors.

See the full announcement from Pelé here.