Grassroot Soccer, Inc. became a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization in 2002. Founder, Tommy Clark, MD conceived of the idea after playing soccer professionally in Zimbabwe where he witnessed both the devastation of HIV and the fanatical popularity of soccer. Together with a group of friends who had similar experiences, he and co-founders Methembe Ndlovu, Ethan Zohn, and Kirk Friedrich created Grassroot Soccer. The core group traveled to Zimbabwe in 2002 and with the support of advisory board member, Albert Bandura, consultants and local stakeholders, developed and piloted an interactive soccer-themed HIV prevention curriculum that was first implemented in Zimbabwe in 2003.
In the News
Grassroot Soccer has partnered with corporations and organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Nike, and many others. When the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) announced its 20 Football for Hope Centers, it chose Grassroot Soccer to run the first one, located in Khayelitsha, South Africa, a suburb of Cape Town. On July 13, 2010, Grassroot Soccer announced a partnership with Women's Professional Soccer in their initiative Get Active! which aims to fight childhood obesity throughout the country.
Studies by Stanford University's Children's Health Council, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Cape Town, as well as others, suggest that the GRS curriculum is very effective. A study on GRS published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded, among other things, that "over 90% of the children provided positive attitude responses to the health-education programme".
- Merrill, Austin, "Grassroot Soccer: Using the World Cup to Fight HIV", May 14, 2010, "Vanity Fair", August 28, 2010
- "History", ""
- "Partners", "" Grassroot Soccer", August 28, 2010
- "Opening of first Football for Hope Centre heralds a new dawn for Khayelitsha", December 5, 2009, "FIFA", August 28, 2010
- "Grassroot Soccer Named Official Charity Partner", July 13, 2010, "Women's Professional Soccer", September 4, 2010
- "Proven Results", "Grassroot Soccer", August 27, 2010
- Fuller, Colin W.; Junge, Astrid; Decelles, Jeff; Donald, James; Jankelowitz, Ryan; Dvorak, Jiri, "'Football for Health' - a football-based health-promotion programme for children in South Africa: a parallel cohort study", "British Journal of Sports Medicine", August 29, 2010