On Monday, June 14, Street Soccer New York City was visited by Gold medal Olympian Michael Johnson. Johnson, who won four gold medals in three different Olympic Games, is an ambassador for Beyond Sport, the host of the Beyond Sport Awards. This global organization recognizes non-profit and for-profit organizations for their creative and constructive uses of sport for addressing issues facing the communities they serve.
Earlier this month, Beyond Sport revealed their short listed candidates for the Beyond Sport Awards, taking place this September in Chicago. Street Soccer USA was short listed out of 350 candidates in 115 countries in the category of Sport for Social Inclusion.
Johnson, along with Beyond Sport founder Nick Keller and New York City Homeless Service Commissioner Seth Diamond, met with several players and discussed the impact that the Street Soccer USA program has had on their lives. Afterward the former-Olympian played in a scrimmage with SSNYC participants and volunteers.
Keller and the rest of the Beyond Sport team had a unique chance to see several players who are likely headed to Washington DC for the 2010 Street Soccer USA Cup in action. “We were delighted to take up the opportunity to see Street Soccer in action and engage first-hand with the project’s participants,” said Keller, “During our visit we were immediately impressed with the tangible impact the program is making on its surrounding community. It is fully deserving of its place on the Awards shortlist.”
Michael Johnson is one of many professional athletes who serve as ambassador for Beyond Sport. Chaired by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, ambassadors include Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London 2012; former NBA Champion and US Senator Bill Bradley; and IOC Executive Board Member Nawal El Moutawakel, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Morocco.
Street Soccer USA will find out the winners during the Beyond Sport Awards and Summit, September 27-30. Until then, teams in New York and elsewhere have a plethora of events and activities arranged in preparation for the 2010 SSUSA Cup, July 30 to August 1. Check the events page on our website as new fundraisers and scrimmages are scheduled throughout the summer.