With the FIFA World Cup set to kick off in Qatar in just a matter of weeks, we were delighted to welcome experts in ‘football for development’ to discuss how to safeguard and grow the power of football in our communities.

The breakfast roundtable held on Wednesday, 19th October, was kindly hosted by His Majesty’s Consul General Emma Wade-Smith OBE at her residence in New York City.

“Football has a unique power to bring individuals, communities, and nations together. I was delighted to host the Power of Community Football breakfast discussion with the Sports Creative. I look forward to hearing more community football stories and supporting their effort wherever possible.”

Emma Wade-Smith OBE

We believe every child should have access to the power of play in their community; this right is critical to positive childhood development, supporting each child physically, mentally, and socially.

However, we see the increased pressure on community play, a lack of safe spaces to play, living in risk areas, an avalanche of health issues, and a growing lethargy in a virtual world.

We invited individuals who have inspired us in their commitment to play. Those in attendance included love.fútbol, MLS Works, Philadelphia Union, NYCFC, Street Soccer USA, SCUB Rio, We Can Kick It, the Pincus Family Foundation, Laureusthe American Outlaws, and Google.

The roundtable began with Jaafar Alzaidi, our Youth Coach from FC Max Myers in Philadelphia. Jaafar shared his story of having fled wartorn Baghdad as a child and transitioning to life in Philadelphia and football’s role in helping him on his journey.


“I am a youth coach at FC Max Myers. Soccer helped me so much in my life. I came here because my country was a war zone, and football helped me adapt. We have kids playing for free; this is important as soccer can be expensive.”

Jaafar Alzaidi, FC Max Myer Youth Coach

Facilitated by TSC Board Secretary Donald Wine II, the room shared learnings and advice as we strive to build our programs of blending football and storytelling with young people in their communities.

If you’re interested in safeguarding and growing community football, you can find the discussion summary



Thank you to Ortex for sponsoring the breakfast roundtable, to our inspirational partner’s love.fútbol, who helped us shape the event, and to Ananda Seeram from the British Consulate, whose support for the Sports Creative is so gratefully received.