SAN FRANCISCO, CA & NEW YORK, NY (July 13, 2010) – Grassroot Soccer (GRS) and Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) are pleased to announce their new partnership supporting Get Active!, WPS’s campaign to fight childhood obesity across the country. GRS uses the power of soccer in the fight against HIV & AIDS in Africa and to help build life skills, inspire healthy lifestyles, and work to eliminate disease.

Together, WPS and GRS are inspiring youth, families, and communities to get active through 3-on-3 soccer tournaments held in WPS Team markets. Through the Get Active! tournaments, run in part by Grassroot Soccer volunteers, children and young adults in surrounding communities will learn the benefits and importance of staying fit and living active, healthy lifestyles. WPS Players will be on hand to help teach soccer skills and deliver these messages. In conjunction with the 3-on-3 tournaments, the participants will also attend a WPS game. 100% of the proceeds raised through donations and player registrations will benefit Grassroot Soccer.

“We’re really excited for the opportunity to work with WPS and to promote active lifestyles”, said Ethan Zohn, one of the founders of GRS. “This gives us the chance to partner with the best in women’s professional soccer and reinforce the value and importance of being active on the field and out in the community.”

“Get Active! is a great platform to spread the message of healthy living through soccer,” said WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. “It’s great to work with Grassroot Soccer and the WPS teams on this initiative to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s national campaign against childhood obesity.”

Grassroot Soccer is an internationally recognized non-profit organization that trains African soccer stars, coaches, teachers, and peer educators in the world’s most HIV-affected countries to deliver an interactive prevention and life skills curriculum to youth.  Since its inception in 2002, Grassroot Soccer has served more than 300,000 kids via its ‘Skillz’ curriculum as a leader in the sport for development movement.

In addition to the partnership, GRS is also aligned with MLS W.O.R.K.S, the philanthropic initiative of Major League Soccer, and FIFA creating a unique relationship of being the only charity partner of all three organizations.  With the kick-off of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa under way, more attention is being brought to the beautiful game and the chance to leverage soccer as not only the most popular sport in the world, but also one associated with healthy and active lifestyles.

“This is an exciting time for soccer both here in the U.S. and internationally,” said Rachel Epstein, Director of Marketing for WPS.  “We feel this is an incredible opportunity to support the cause of eliminating childhood obesity while also supporting the tremendous mission of Grassroot Soccer.  We care about the youth and families that support WPS, and we want to share with them the importance of leading healthy, active lifestyles.”

About Grassroot Soccer

Founded by former professional soccer players in 2002, Grassroot Soccer (GRS) trains African soccer stars, coaches, teachers, and peer educators in the world’s most HIV-affected countries to deliver an interactive HIV prevention and life skills curriculum to youth. Translating research into action and leveraging the excitement around the 2010 World Cup, GRS attracts and engages young people through schools, community outreach, and social multimedia (e.g. magazines and TV). GRS has educated more than 300,000 kids via its ‘Skillz’ curriculum, and is a leader in the sport for development movement. For more information, visit www.GrassrootSoccer.org.

About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)
Headquartered in San Francisco, Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is the world’s premier soccer league for women with seven teams across the United States featuring the best players from around the world. WPS completed its inaugural season in August 2009 as Sky Blue FC of New Jersey became the first-ever WPS Champions. In 2010, seven teams will each play 24-game schedules from April 10-September 12 including five original WPS teams – Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Gold Pride (Bay Area), Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY) and Washington Freedom – and two expansion teams Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence. The top four finishers in the regular season will qualify for the 2010 WPS Playoffs scheduled for September 19-26. For more information, visit the WPS official website at www.womensprosoccer.com or follow all the news at www.twitter.com/womensprosoccer.