Charlotte FC and Ally logos next to image of child playing with a soccer ball on a park path

As the founding and lead sponsor of Charlotte’s new MLS club, Charlotte FC, we believe in the power of play and the importance of sports in building teamwork, community, and healthy habits — but what is it about soccer that we especially love?

Here are a few reasons why this sponsorship and our work with local youth sports organizations mean so much to us.

1.      Soccer is a global sport.

Soccer (or football, as it’s called in most of the world) is one of the few sports that’s played almost worldwide. And when you consider how many nations come together every four years for the FIFA World Cup (the next one’s in 2022!), it’s clear that soccer is a common thread between a lot of people — and we love helping introduce kids to that global community.

2.      Soccer is accessible.

Theoretically, all you really need to play soccer is a ball — that’s one of the reasons why so many cultures have some version of the sport. For instance, the oldest known iteration was called Cuju and dates back to the 3rd and 2nd century BC in China. It’s easy to start a pick-up game when a sport can be played in fields, roads, parking lots — you name it. We want to do our part to further ensure soccer remains accessible for kids in all communities. That’s why we’re committed to supporting organizations that bring soccer to communities in need. Read more about our work with three Charlotte-based youth soccer organizations — the Creative Player Foundation, the Soccer Foundation of Charlotte, and Street Soccer 658.

3.      Soccer teaches essential skills.

Beyond staying active and physically healthy, the benefits of team sports stretch in myriad directions. They can teach kids about thinking as a team and communicating with each other, as well as how to be a good sport (and not an arrogant winner or sore loser!). These skills can help carry them through school, college, and their adult lives.

4.      Soccer is good for you.

It’s no secret that keeping active is essential to staying healthy — among the many benefits of physical activity is improved cognitive ability, reduced risk of depression and anxiety, and sharpened skills as we age. And for kids especially, it’s important for things like brain development and bone strength. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend an hour of activity a day for kids ages 6–17, however, only 24% of kids actually get that amount.

5.      Soccer builds community.

Playing a sport gives kids access to a community where they can make friends, stay active, and find support through coaches and teammates. That’s why we believe it’s so important to make sure kids in underserved areas have access to sports — and working with local organizations committed to that cause is one way we can make sure we’re supporting kids in our community.

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