Grassroot Soccer

Grassroot Soccer uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV. Soccer creates connections between people. Using footballers as role models, and using the popularity of soccer to engage hard to reach youth, GRS has combined social theory, public health methodologies, rigorous evaluation and a huge dose of passion to combat HIV.

GRS’s activities are divided into two areas: global activities and in-country activities. Globally, GRS focuses on curriculum development, measurement and evaluations, strategic development and financial management. In-country, teams run soccer programs in partnership with other organizations and funders. Through these activities, GRS engages hundreds of local community role models (coaches, teachers and peer educators) on a part time or volunteer basis in several African countries.

A partnership between Grassroot Soccer, Stellenbosch University, and Dr. Rotheram’s research group at UCLA led to the establishment of the Champion’s League project in 2011. This pilot program was extraordinarily popular within the community and many of the participants have kept the league going informally after the end of the research period. Dr. Rotheram and Grassroot Soccer hope to implement this program on a larger scale in the future and continue to work together towards that goal.