DC SCORES uses a unique combination of soccer, poetry, and service-learning to create neighborhood teams that give 3,000 kids in need the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life. The Spirit is the professional women’s soccer team currently based at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md. Launched in 2012, the Spirit play in the NWSL, the premier women’s soccer league in North America
The organizations have collaborated regularly over the. past year in pursuit of spreading both interest in and access to soccer, particularly for girls and young women throughout the Washington, D.C. community. Over the course of that collaboration, the club provided tickets for DC SCORES poet-athletes to attend Spirit games at Audi Field, and Spirit players participated in DC SCORES events. In 2020, the Spirit are scheduled to play four games at Audi Field in Washington, DC, part of a larger goal to increase the club’s presence in the city, while DC SCORES, the largest provider of free after-school programming in the District, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary.
Specific goals for the partnership include:
- Growing the number of girls in the region who play soccer
- Giving female DC SCORES soccer players more opportunities to see and work with professional female role models
- Providing Spirit players more opportunities for local, team-related community service, and increase awareness and visibility of the Spirit and its impact in the DC community.
DC SCORES is also the Official Community Partner of D.C. United. By working with both of the area’s professional soccer franchises, SCORES poet-athletes will have exposure to the game at an unprecedented level for a youth sports non-profit. The Spirit will provide a video spot for DC SCORES on the big screen at all matches the Spirit plays at Audi Field; give free seats for DC SCORES poet-athletes at each of the Spirit’s matches at Audi Field, and feature original poems by DC SCORES participants in every home game program.
The wide-ranging partnership establishes the Spirit as an official sponsor of SCORES’ events including: the annual Audi Field gala One Night One Goal (now rescheduled for this fall); the region’s largest corporate soccer tournament, SCORES Cup (rescheduled for August 29, 2020); as well as program events for DC SCORES poet-athletes, including soccer tournaments Fall Frenzy and Jamboree, annual all-star poetry showcase Our Words Our City and annual city-wide youth poetry slams. SCORES will also provide opportunities for Spirit Academy coaches to identify, train, and develop DC SCORES players as future Homegrown Players.
The Spirit - SCORES relationship is a long-standing one, with unique connections. Notably, former Spirit player Joanna Lohman is already DC SCORES’ Community Ambassador. She appeared in a 2019 documentary featuring SCORES, Soccer in the City, and helped kick off the SCORES “AtHomePoetryChallenge,” part of SCORES at Home, DC SCORES’ online learning portal, which is updated daily with new soccer and writing lessons while regular programming is suspended for COVID-19.
“DC SCORES is a perfect partner for us. Their mission of providing kids the confidence and skills they need to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom and in life is in alignment with what we as an organization are working to accomplish. We are excited to work together to make a positive impact on young people in the Washington, DC area,” said Nicole Hawkins, the Spirit’s Director of Community Relations, Communications and Player Programs. Added DC SCORES CEO Bethany Henderson, “DC SCORES kids are an equal mix of boys and girls, so we’re excited to partner with the Spirit to provide more opportunities for our poet-athletes to see and work with female role models.”
While traditional programming is on hold for COVID-19, the organizations look forward to supporting the community in the meantime with new engaging content – like the Spirit’s recent Twitch replay of their match vs. the North Carolina Courage, and distance learning like SCORES at Home. DC SCORES and the Washington Spirit are excited to support the community online for now, and in person for years to follow.
For questions about the Spirit-SCORES partnership please contact:
- For the Washington Spirit: Mason Cavalier at 240.818.3740
- For DC SCORES: Michael Holstein at 202.441.6465