We're Moving a lot this Winter

February 15, 2023

Dear Friends, Partners & Donors,

Since January, we’ve been laser-focused on our recommitment to our programs & players, especially advancing the learnings from our 6-month strategic planning process with Highland Steet Foundation. Like most, it was also nice to enjoy some downtime over the holidays, which was particularly special. I received my Master's Degree from Texas A&M's Bush School of Government & Public Service and got married! Some fantastic people were part of the ceremonies, including many Beyond Soccer alumni, now friends, who grew up in the program. That theme or the relationships that develop through sports are unmatched and my #timeout only reinforced that. Thanks for being part of our connections, and here's to more healthy relationships that also keep us moving!

-- Warm regards, Stephanie McArdle, Executive Director

We made a lot of fall connections, including...

And We Continue to Move & Connect a lot this Winter!

Our program started with girls, so we continue to fight for #GirlsInSports

This fight is only possible because of our incredible #GirlsInSports partners, like the Women's Sports Foundation, which celebrates National Girls & Women in Sports Day. Their advocacy and support make our work in Lawrence possible. To celebrate #NGWSD, a few of our girl's teams got together with their female #CoachMentors and shared how & why sports have positively influenced their lives, and thanks to another key #GirlsInSports partner, #DreamBig! received equipment prizes for that important sharing! “I like being an athlete because it helps me relieve my mind from school stress. It also lets me meet new people and get to know them really well.


More than 35 hours of weekly play is being sponsored this winter!

220 players are already moving this winter through fast-paced futsal. When weekly skill & fitness sessions at our enrichment space are included, we're providing 40+ hours of weekly programs that get kids moving! Did you know that the Physical Activity Alliance’s latest U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for youth showed C and D- grades? Also, it shares that the BMI for children during the first 9 months of the pandemic almost doubled compared to pre-pandemic data. Ugh! That’s why we’re so committed to stepping up for our community again in 2023 to ensure kids are moving and mentored by quality coaches, especially coaches from their community!


We're Back...in the School!

We've partnered with our friends at the Arlington Middle School to bring sports to students where they are! So far, forty 5th-8th grade boys & girls are benefiting 2 days/week. There were also some familiar Beyond Soccer faces (current players) in the group who were used to help #CoachMentors Chris, Will, and Andrea with some of the drill demonstrations. This serves two purposes. One, it ensures kids get quality access to sports who might not be able to access after-school programs, and (2) allows Overall, it was a great kickoff!


Turf Field Access = More Play!

For the first time--EVER--since the end of the fall soccer season, we have extended play opportunities outdoors! Because of our partnership with Pavilion at Riverwalk, this access has already meant 60 additional hours of play and physical fitness time added to kids' year-round experiences! Players bundle up and play, but only on days above freezing. Also, like everything we do, our current winter programs are led by 18 Coach Mentors and Jr. Coaches from Lawrence. #PlayMatters #FacilitiesMatter & #CoachMentorsMatter


Former long-time player, alumni, and soon-to-be elevated Enrichment Coordinator Will Inirio (we hope!!) has taken the lead and relaunched our Academic Overtime program, which he was involved with before the pandemic paused its impact.

Last week, youth in our program with a desire to make gains in a specific subject or develop better study habits began working with tutors from Beyond Soccer and Merrimack College.

Six (6) Merrimack College students through the College's Service Learning Department are already committed to tutoring over the next four months, four (4) days/per week. We have a fantastic academic enrichment space with 18 cubicles, a great turf space for a little pre-homework stretching, and healthy snacks ready in our teaching kitchen. It's a multi-layered team effort with all we do, and we look forward to sharing that impact. Here's to "succeeding on and off the field!" Thank you, Will, for taking the lead. It's a prime example of our leadership-through-sports approach!

William is pictured in our Academic Overtime space, repping his Central Catholic gear, his high school alma mater, where he played soccer & now coaches the program's JV team, in addition to advancing our mission work.

Aaden, a current Grade 8 Strikerz Team Member, was named Lawrence Catholic Academy's Peter Lynch Scholar. As most know, our mission, using sport to ensure youth like Aaden benefit from year-round, long-term participation that provides opportunities to really get to know them, including in the classroom, during kitchen cooking courses, through our busy summer camps or team outings, and yes, even birthday parties! That is where our Coach Mentors can have the most influence. Lily's quote embodies that approach. Thank you, Lily and Aaden we look forward to supporting Aaden this spring and during your high school journey!

QUOTE: “I would like to express my gratitude to Beyond Soccer. He wouldn't be named such an honor without the Coach Mentors, and tutoring assistance Beyond Soccer provided him over the years. I already thanked Coach Dominic Nash and Coach William Inirio. For a quiet, average-grade child, its a big accomplishment. From the free week of summer camp with his teammates to birthday celebrations and team outings, the extra attention during the COVID lockdown...we will never forget. So, thank you and the mentors from Beyond Soccer.” – Lily, Mom

Lawrence teenager and #CoachMentor Andrea has been involved with Beyond Soccer for many years, playing for our 7/8 Grade girls' Wolverines and high school travel teams. This spring will be her last playing season with us, but that won't stop her from being on fields any time soon. She loves sports, including nine (9) years of softball.

Andrea is a Senior at Austin Prep and is looking forward to attending Coastal Carolina University in the fall. During most of her high school career, she has been a consistent figure in our in-city leagues, contributing as a volunteer Jr. #CoachMentor.

Andrea’s consistent efforts were rewarded with a paid Summer Coach Mentor position through partner Mass Hire last June, and she rose to the occasion, being a vocal leader, helping us with office administration tasks and camp-day registrations. Last fall, she stepped up even more while attending her studies (she has a current 3.5 GPA!) and contributing to our city league as the lead #CoachMentor of the Grade 1&2 girl’s team. They keep her busy and that involvement has turned into her being a permanent fixture during winter futsal. She is always ready to lend a hand and with a smile, like carrying these New Balance warmups to distribute during weekend training in January or dressing up for the Recreational Soccer League players last Halloween! We're grateful to you Andrea and have helped us advance our girls-in-sports and leadership-through-sports priorities!

What do you like most about working with youth? “I like the hands-on experience and meeting different people, both kids, and their families, along the way.”

Other fun facts! Andrea's career interest includes becoming an obstetrician. When she graduates from Coastal Carolina, and we know she will, she will be the first in her immediate family to attend and graduate college!

Local Youth Development through Sports Model Will Focus Exclusively on Soccer (Eagle-Tribune - February 2023)

"Pivoting away from the pandemic challenges that shut down in-person sports for 18 months, Beyond Soccer will narrow its focus to soccer excellence and continue its reputation as a team player with all the city sports groups in more sustainable ways, including through the Lawrence Sports Alliance, as we all work to tackle growing physical and mental health challenges in young people.” - Stephanie McArdle, Executive Director.

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Thanks to first-time funding from M&T Bank Charitable Foundation, we have another corporate partner supporting coaching stipends and wages that reward teens and young adults for their hard work as Coach-Mentors and Jr. Coaches. Funding will also support their development in other meaningful ways, like financial literacy programs, CPR certifications, and hands-on SBYD coaches' training in our newly expanded program space.

The M&T Charitable Foundation strives to strengthen our communities by providing support for a diverse range of civic, cultural, health, and human service organizations through grants, employee volunteerism, and in-kind services.


Thank you for supporting our #PlayItForward Campaign.

Thanks to so many of you, we have raised $35,000, but we are committed to reaching that $50,000 mark. Our programs never stop, so we continue to ask for support. #TY

PlayItForward in 2023

Executive Director: (617) 970-1623

Operations Manager: (617) 418-9577

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