Soccer in the Streets once again bested its fundraising goal in a July 10 tournament where “national” teams clash for the glory of their homelands and the good of the local community.
Each year the Nations Cup tournament raises money for the Atlanta nonprofit’s youth programs, which teach life skills through a sport that is surging in popularity in the U.S. and locally. This year’s tally stands at $51,844, eclipsing the $50,000 target.
Individual participants are required to raise funds to play on the pitch, but in a sort of competition within the competition, the teams also vie for a fundraising title. Their progress is tracked publicly on an interactive crowdfunding website.
As it has in years past, Germany again took home the fundraising title, besting seven other teams. Germany team captain Geoffrey Meeker was named top individual fundraiser, bringing in more than $6,200. Inclement weather kept an on-field champion from being crowned.
Leaders were pleased with the result, especially after COVID-19 postponed last year’s event.
“To see such a bounce back from 2020, in our first fundraiser of the year, is hugely encouraging and a testament to the generosity of the Atlanta soccer community,” said board member Bill Ford in a news release.
During the pandemic, facing limitations on their ability to provide in-person soccer instruction, Soccer in the Streets served lunches and delivered groceries to families, also giving out nearly 700 soccer balls. The organization also started an online program enticing kids to learn creative writing and reading by promising them a soccer skills video from their coach upon completion of assignments.
Soccer in the Streets puts on a similar ATL Champions League tournament in the fall, where football fanatics play in support of their favorite clubs, often from the English Premier League. That event will have a fundraising goal of $150,000 and starts Oct. 23. The Black Tie Soccer Game, a match played in formalwear, is also slated for October.
The nonprofit also operates StationSoccer, a network of leagues centered on MARTA stations around the city, for which it has garnered international acclaim.
The event was held at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
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