According to many, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. There are over 250 million players in over 200 different countries and dependencies, and 3.572 billion people tuned in to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This figure even exceeds the audience for previous Olympic Games. Despite this, the U.S.A. has not exuded a passion for the sport like other areas of the world, and soccer has sometimes found it difficult to compete with the appeal of American football, basketball, hockey and baseball. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to raise the profile. This summer, the women’s national team should enter the 2019 World Cup as favorites and stand an excellent chance of being crowned champions for a 4th time. Their dominance in the sport is further highlighted by the fact that this will only be the eighth time it has taken place. Additionally, the U.S.A. will host the men’s tournament in 2026, a joint venture along with Canada and Mexico.
At BISC-LP, we are also hoping to increase interest in soccer. Playing a team sport can provide many benefits to children. Other than the health benefits, it can: improve self-esteem; develop social skills; teach children how to learn from disappointment and frustrations; and help to enhance communication and cooperation skills. Our upcoming BISC-LP Soccer Festival is a great way that we as a community can promote these benefits and encourage a whole group of children to embrace something they may not yet have tried. On the day, there will be a tournament for the older children, skills sessions for the younger children, a penalty shoot-out for all and much more. Safe from the cold under the Chicago Fire CIBC dome, we will spend the afternoon meeting new people, catching up with friends and cheering on the children as they learn, compete, fall down, and then pick themselves up.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the festival on Monday, February 25 from 1 p.m. to 6p.m.!
-Caroline Gordon, P.E & Health Teacher / International Primary Curriculum Leader