In uncertain times, we often seek out activities that provide comfort and escape. Now, more than ever, it’s important to unite communities and provide a sense of solitude with shared experiences. Some might not immediately think that summer soccer camps or simply kicking the ball around can accomplish this. But historically, soccer serves an extremely important purpose: bringing people together.
Soccer is undoubtedly France’s most popular sport. Parisian freelance sportswriter Carole Bouchard noted in a 2015 story, “Many French follow [soccer] news from morning to evening. It’s become a cultural thing. All national matches draw a lot of interest, even test ones. You bring your kids and friends to games. It touches many generations and all social classes. Everybody feels involved.”
In fact, the Paris terror attacks targeted soccer stadiums precisely because the sport is so universally beloved. But in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, the soccer teams that played throughout the crisis returned to the stadium to play. And four days after those attacks occurred, England hosted the French national team at Wembley Stadium, where more than 70,000 fans were in attendance.
Bouchard noted to ThinkProgress, “In many ways, sports are a place for social inclusion, a universal language that facilitates and promotes progressive social values. [ISIS] is attacking those values.”
Regardless of political stance, most people would agree that it’s important to bring the nation together. Whether it’s with an impromptu soccer program to welcome Afghani refugees in Virginia or with a local soccer training for kids in your hometown, differences in background, language, or ability don’t really matter on the field.
While you may think it’s “just” a sport, involvement in soccer can provide countless benefits for kids. At the best soccer camps the USA has to offer, players won’t just learn new technical skills. They’ll gain confidence, discover how to work as a team, and what kind of behavior makes a good player great. After all, 92% of participants say that attending camp — like the soccer camps NYC has to provide — helped them feel good about themselves. Families can help foster that sense of self-worth, support, and superior work ethic with soccer programs like ours. To find out more, contact U.K. Elite Soccer today.