Former Olympic teammates Brandi Chastain and Cindy Parlow Cone, in partnership with Goals for Girls, teamed up for a soccer clinic to bring awareness and fun to young girls at Staton Field on Santa Clara University’s campus Sept. 20. Cone is the Outreach Director of Goals for Girls, a non-profit organization that uses soccer to teach young girls how to bring about change in their environments.
The event brought about 100 girls to Santa Clara’s campus for the two-hour clinic. To start, Cone gathered the girls, as well as her team of coaches, on the field to educate them on what the organization does. She talked about girls in developing countries and the struggles they have to overcome just to play soccer.
“Often times girls [in other countries] are not only not encouraged to play sports, but they are not allowed,” says Cone.
Throughout the camp, the girls were encouraged to bring about change in their environments; helping somebody on their team or volunteering somewhere, any effort can a make difference.
In addition to Cone and Chastain, players from Santa Clara University and University of North Carolina’s soccer teams and individuals from Soccer In Slow Motion, a street soccer team, led the girls through instructional drills, while mixing in games.
“I like these events because I just love the game,” says Sarah Thompson, Goals for Girls coach and former player of University of North Carolina. “Everybody out here is playing for a purpose and I think this [event] opens their eyes to know they can get involved in this program.”
This event alone raised thousands of dollars to help girls in developing countries; by just being at the clinic, the girls were able to make a difference in other people’s lives even if they couldn’t see it directly.
“I think my favorite part [of this event] is girls usually think they’re coming to just another soccer clinic but they leave with so much more,” says Cone. “They leave realizing they can positively change somebody else’s life. It doesn’t require money. All it requires is time and wanting to change somebody’s life.”
To learn more or to donate, visit goalsforgirls.org or search Goals For Girls on social media.