AYSO welcomed Paola Kuri, founder of #FutsinGenero (soccer without gender) and member of the Global Sports Mentorship Program, to the National Office early this month to meet with AYSO leaders and to learn about AYSO’s structure. Specifically, how Paola could develop an AYSO-like organization in her home of Mexico to help empower women through soccer.
The U.S. Department of State selected Paola to be a part of the Global Sports Mentoring Program: Empowering Women and Girls through Sports. When meeting with AYSO, Paola was joined by her mentor, Joan Coraggio, the Group Director of Sponsorship and Experiential Marketing at Saatchi and Saatchi LA.
Supporting and mentoring females in sports fundamentally connects to AYSO's Vision. In 1969, a small group of AYSO coaches formed a league of 40 girls independent of AYSO. There were four girl teams, playing seven-a-side. From there, the numbers grew. In 1971, girls were officially accepted as members of AYSO.
Since then, AYSO launched several initiatives to increase girls’ participation in soccer. Currently 43% of AYSO soccer players are females. National soccer players such as Alex Morgan, Julie Johnston and Brandi Chastain began their soccer careers playing in AYSO.
“AYSO was thrilled to meet with Paola during her visit to the U.S.. #FutsinGenero directly ties into AYSO’s Vision of providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children’s lives. We are happy to assist in identifying other potential partners who would be philosophically aligned with her project and to provide mentorship going forward.” Said Mike Hoyer, AYSO’s National Executive Director.
AYSO hopes to provide assistance and mentorship as Paola further develops her own soccer program in Mexico. We wish her the best of luck and look forward to working with her in the future.
Read more about Paola here.