Misc Soccer News

Oakland Roots and Soul SC Launches ‘Oakland Coach Academy’ to Break Down Barriers to Sports in the East Bay

Oakland Roots Sports Club Sets 2023 Theme Nights at Laney College

March 26, 2024 – United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Oakland Roots News Release

Oakland, CA – Oakland Roots & Soul Sports Club, with support from the Oakland Roots and Soul Foundation, today expanded its support of local soccer with the launch of the ‘Oakland Coach Academy’, a unique, holistic program designed to tackle the barriers that prevent boys and girls from underserved communities from accessing the sport.

“This initiative exemplifies the spirit of mentorship, diversity, and investing in our youth through sports. By addressing the shortage of qualified coaches, we are not only fostering athletic development but also providing valuable mentorship opportunities” said Sheng Thao, Mayor of the City of Oakland. “This program aligns perfectly with our commitment to inclusivity and empowerment, ensuring that every child in OUSD has access to quality soccer programming. The ‘Oakland Coach Academy’ is a testament to the positive impact sports and mentorship can have on the lives of our young community members, and I commend Oakland Roots & Soul SC for their dedication to creating opportunities for underrepresented groups. Together, we are building a stronger, more connected Oakland for future generations.”

Research shows that a major barrier to youth participation in sport in Oakland and the East Bay is a lack of qualified coaches from diverse backgrounds who have both the technical skills to provide quality, inclusive sports instruction, but also the social and emotional intelligence training necessary for working in underserved communities. The barriers are especially acute for girls – just 9% of girls in Oakland receive the amount of daily physical activity recommended by the CDC*.

The Academy has been designed as part of the club’s support of OUSD’s Expanded Learning programs, with the shared goal of ensuring every child in OUSD Elementary Schools has the opportunity to access free soccer programming at their school by the time of the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup. “Access to, and appreciation of, soccer is expanding dramatically across Oakland Unified School District, mirroring what we are doing at our schools by adding new soccer pitches at numerous sites,” said OUSD Superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “Of course, soccer is the most popular sport in the world, which fits perfectly in Oakland since it is one of the most diverse cities in the nation. We thank Oakland Roots & Soul SC for creating the Oakland Coach Academy that will multiply the…

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