South Bronx United: Building confidence, self-esteem and relationships
The South Bronx is one of New York’s most under-served and underprivileged communities. With a majority immigrant population, children and young people in the area at most at risk from school absenteeism, leading to a life of unfulfilled potential. Or worse.
The sport of soccer is huge in these communities and so South Bronx United (SBU) take this passion and use it as a tool for meaningful social change. With soccer as the hook, they provide education, help young people build character, team work and leadership skills to help them progress and succeed in high school, college, their careers and community.
The programme was the recipient of the 2020 Sport for Good Award at the 20th anniversary Laureus World Sports Awards, held in Berlin. Picking up the Award were SBU co-founder and Executive Director Andrew So and two young people who had benefited from the programmes that SBU offer, Mohamed Konate and Maria Martinez, both 18.
South Bronx United was founded in 2009 with a simple concept – young people needed to engage with something they understand and enjoy to keep them off the streets. Soccer provided that and over the past 11 years or so, SBU has grown in response to the needs of the community
Andrew So, said: “Sport is an incredible tool for positive change and at South Bronx United, we have been fortunate enough to see a positive change in the hundreds of young people who have come through our programme in the past 10 years. Through football, the young people we work with build confidence, self-esteem and form relationships and friendships. I would like to thank the Laureus Academy for recognising our work, which is required more than ever. This Award will act as motivation to continue using sport to do good for the next decade and beyond.”