Sports

Concacaf expands NextPlay's social responsibility programme to Gold Cup

Thursday, March 14, 2019

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THE Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) yesterday announced the expansion of its Concacaf NextPlay social responsibility program to the this year's Concacaf Gold Cup.

Inspired by the diverse communities served by the confederation, as well as its mission and values, Concacaf NextPlay is a comprehensive grass roots development programme that promotes access to football within the region, while leveraging the power of the game to drive social change.

“As one of the most anticipated sporting events in the region, the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup is the ideal platform to further expand the reach of NextPlay as we continue delivering on our commitment to access, inclusiveness and social responsibility,” said Concacaf President Victor Montagliani.

“Integrating NextPlay into our premier competition, reinforces our commitment to ensure we are leaving a legacy through football,” he added.

The initiative is designed to give back to some of the communities that will be hosting this summer's Gold Cup and will consist a series of trainings from Concacaf officials for coaches to deliver the NextPlay methodology in their local communities, followed by football clinics with children and young adults.

The programme is designed to provide over 100 coaches with the tools to conduct appropriate age training sessions and on-field recommendations on how to use the game to create safe spaces, instill social values and develop an environment of inclusion. Participating coaches will provide over 1,000 boys and girls ages 6-12, the tools to learn the game of football, while fostering social values including hard work, fair play, inclusion, teamwork and respect.

Beginning in April 10 in Los Angeles, California, and throughout the competition this summer, Concacaf will join efforts with member associations, the host cities and local organisations to conduct the programme.

Additional NextPlay activities in April include Cleveland, Ohio and Houston, Texas, followed by events in May in Denver, Colorado and San Jose, Costa Rica. In addition, the initiative will be implemented in a Caribbean nation that will be announced as Gold Cup host in the coming weeks.

All events will allow participants to attend the clinics as well as Gold Cup matches in their local market.

At the Gold Cup, the confederation will feature TV, online and in-stadium messaging from participants, players and teams, celebrating the competition, NextPlay and the power of football.

The complete group and schedule of the 2019 Gold Cup will be announced in the coming weeks, once all nations have qualified for the Gold Cup via the Concacaf Nations League Qualifiers, with the final round taking place later this month.

To date, six of the 16 national teams scheduled to participate have qualified for this year's tournament — countries that participated in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Hexagonal qualifier round. They are Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States.

Taking place every two years, the Concacaf Gold Cup is the region's premier national competition, which includes North, Central America and the Caribbean, and crowns the region's best national team while celebrating soccer, sportsmanship and culture.

Jamaica was a host of the Scotiabank NextPlay Cup pilot, where Holy Family Primary School were crowned champions. The victorious team will journey to the USA to watch the final of the Gold Cup final in Chicago on Sunday, July 7.


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