Air date: April 16, 2015
Soccer is played in over 200 countries around the world. This highly intensive sport is making its way into Detroit area schools too through the Soccer For Success program. Coaches like Douglas Brigham have one goal in mind. Doug: I wanted to get the kids moving and get them energized and get them off the couch. The Soccer for Success program was developed by the US Soccer Foundation in an effort to combat childhood obesity. The Detroit Police Athletic League champions the cause and has developed teams in 24 schools across metro Detroit. Mitch: What does soccer in particular offer to make it appealing as a sport to get kids involved? Doug: It is high activity and the kids are definitely going to do a lot of running in this program. Not only that, we have mentoring as well as nutrition. This is something that these kids can take later on in life and benefit from it. Kids are having a soccer buzz and the parents are crazy about the program as well. Running, passing, dribbling or shooting on goal, these kids are always on the move but there is one thing Coach refuses to have on the field. Doug: I better not see a cell phone in the vicinity. You know when you’re trying to change the climate and culture you’re going to have some challenges naturally. The kids know me and they know my expectations. They’re involved in making the rules themselves so they are sort of taking ownership of the program. Taking kids off the couch and putting them on the field, Douglas Brigham is coaching a new generation of athletes here in the heart of Detroit.