When it’s a sport that involves lots of

When
people think about ways to improve the world we live in, sports is probably a
topic that doesn’t come to mind for most. Sports, specifically soccer, can not
only improve communities, but the world. It is a key point in starting to get
people to live healthier lifestyles and get people from doing criminal
activities. Why is it that topics like soccer is being left out of
conversations when talking about ways to improve society? When conversating
with my cousin, I asked about her opinion on soccer. She commented, “I believe
soccer is a great way to get people to get out and exercise because it’s a
sport that involves lots of energy. I also think that soccer is the right sport
to focus on because it is a popular sport all around the world”. Soccer can
bring up reasons on how it can contribute to the population just as topics like
politics, if not better. I believe that football is very important due to, it
can improve health, lift the human spirit, repair a person’s life, and even
fight against racism.

            Many football teams across the world are deeply involved
with their communities in trying to spread health awareness.  The English Premier League in Europe is one of
many football leagues that are engaged in creating health improvement. “This
commitment includes building new grassroots facilities, providing activities to
increase sporting participation and a focus on young people and education,
particularly improving the quality of Physical Education (PE) sessions in
schools” (A. Martin). The Premier League are building football fields and are
strongly encouraging not only unhealthy individuals, but everyone to
participate in physical activity because it will promote healthier lifestyles. On
top of that, the League also created a health and mental program that would provide
social benefits to all participants, which means it will develop a safer
environment within the sport which can also be used out in the real world. One
of the Leagues focus are on young individuals. “The Premier League is keen to
promote participation in sport from a young age and then help to keep them
playing throughout their life regardless of economic or social background” (A.
Martin). The Premier League offers high quality PE sessions of more than 60,000
hours to young students at schools. Their focus is providing physical skills at
an early age, so all the physical activities would stay with them as they grow
older. Every individual is guided through a different path that would best fit
their style which is important in sustaining healthy living. Targeting young
individuals is a great way to improve society’s health. 3G AGPs are newly
improved football fields that include changing rooms and many other tools. “Furthermore,
when asked to score out of five, with five being the most certain, if their
health had improved as a result of playing on a 3G AGPs, 86% of the 274 players
questioned gave an answer of between three and five – a strong indication that
they felt 3G AGPs were contributing positively to their wellbeing” (A. Martin).
These new fields contain newly improved equipment that has increased
participation dramatically. The fields also bring programs that are not only
keeping people fit, but also aiding with mental health problems just as anxiety
and depression. Several football clubs are also promoting healthier food
options at stadiums and smoke-free policies. More people should consider the
importance that football can bring to the world because it does bring health
awareness.

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            Football is a sport that brings fans together at a
stadium to do the same thing, cheer on their team, but others go beyond that. Italy
is one place where fandom is taken to the next level. “When football fans in
many parts of the world go to the stadium, they go not just as witnesses to a
spectacle – they go to participate in the event” (M.
Guschwan). Fans go to stadiums to support their favorite team because of
the energy they can witness and interacting with other fans and players. Every
fan in the stadium comes together to sing choruses that can be echoed
throughout the stadium. Big banners are displayed to give the team support and
fans make it their best to be the loudest and most passionate than their
rivals. This gives support to their team, so they have a better chance to win
and makes fans feel as they impact the outcome of the game. Getting involved
with football can make people be involved with fandom groups. “At organized banquets,
fan clubs fuse their love of team with their love of dining together” (M.
Guschwan). These banquet get-togethers were created to get a great meal at a
good price rather than spending lots of money at the stadium. Also, groups like
these make newly acquired people, learn how to be real and loyal fans. It makes
people learn about fan culture and what it really means to be apart of a team.
Most importantly, Fandom groups are meant to have a good time, exchange
opinions while cracking jokes at one another. Friendships are created while
strangers disappear. The World Cup is an event that is held every 4 years.
Farzad Mashhood from the Daily Bruin states, “The World Cup brings together not
just 11 soccer players from one nation as a team, not just a country in support
of their side, not just 32 nations, not just hundreds of thousands of fans in
stadiums across South Africa. The World Cup brings together the world.” Fans
from all over the world come together to witness the game of football. Countries
set aside their confrontations with one another. For example, because Cote
d’Ivoire were able to qualify for the World Cup for the first time, the war
that was going on there at the time was ended and their people came together to
support their team. This is what the World Cup and football is all about.
Giving the world better hope to become as one and lifting the human spirit.

            Racism is still a serious topic in today’s society, which
is a big reason why Football and UEFA are taking steps into reducing
discrimination. The UEFA is a Union of European Football Association to deal
with discriminations and unfair play. Why is the UEFA an important tool for the
world? The UEFA and football set examples of unity between fans and their
message of absolutely zero racism and violence in and outside of games. “In
order to encourage proactive planning of action at national level UEFA has set
up a fund to offer financial assistance to antiracism projects led by national
associations” (Gerhard Aigner UEFA). There are many Football
Associations within UEFA, each representing different clubs and countries that
are in the fight against racism. The Football Association in England for
example, have an anti-racism campaign called “Let’s Kick Racism Out of
Football’ that not only strives for equality for all, but also creates public
education campaigns to encounter racism issues there as well. The German
Football Association have a campaign called ‘Peaceful together – My Friend is a
Foreigner’ that brings fans from different teams and ethnicities to fight
against racism from fans. Many will say that fans are the problem for racism,
but they are also the solution. In many parts of Europe, it is the actions of
the fans that have opened the door to oppose racism. Gerhard Aigner states “Anti-racist
fans in many countries have used this simple method to make their first public stance
against racism in football grounds.” This method involves fans creating
homemade banners that carry positive messages like ‘Stop Racism Forever’. In
Germany, fans persuaded a football club to have a permanent anti-racist banner
in the stadium. These methods give people a chance to let their voices be heard
and show loyal to their team. Football games are broadcasted to the entire
where millions of people can watch. Football combined with media is perfect to
display important messages to the world. “The most successful campaigns have
been able to engender a wide-ranging dynamic in which all public institutions,
the media prominent amongst them, play an active role in changing attitudes
among supporters and demanding action and commitment from football authorities”
(Gerhard Aigner UEFA). The media has covered many anti-racist actions by fans
and groups. Those actions are then analyzed by news coverage which can be seen
all around the world. It is important that more people turn to football to
unite the world because it creates groups and messages to fight against
unfairness.

            The game of football can open opportunities and give
people a chance to become successful. “To be fair, soccer saved my life. I
could have been someone I didn’t want to be, I could have been somewhere I
didn’t want to be. I’m happy soccer came into my life and I fell in love with
it since the first day” says Kevin Molino, a professional soccer player that
plays for Minnesota United (Marcos Peres). Football gave Kevin Molino a
opportunity to become successful just by playing the sport that he fell in love
with from an early age. If it wasn’t for football, Kevin states that he
could’ve been at the wrong place just like his brothers were who passed away in
his home town in Trinidad. “For the skinny little Kevin, the right place was
anywhere, as long as he had the ball as a companion” (Marcos Peres). From the
age of six, Kevin would practice football from 8 in the morning all the way to
10 at night. Playing with people who were older than him not only made him a
better player, but its also made him love the game much more because it is
rewarding if you put time and effort into it. In the interview with my cousin I
asked her if football is good or bad towards society. She replied, “Well,
football definitely brings more good than bad. I’m certain this sport was
created so people can have a good time playing with friends. Like here in our
community, everywhere you go you see people playing in parks along with other
sports. It brings happiness to our family whenever there’s a game on tv, so I
would say football is a good source of enjoyment”. Overall, football is a good
alternative to turn to for guidance or even just to have a good time.

            Finally, more people should consider being involved with
football because it doesn’t hurt to try. You can never know the possibilities
it can bring whether its making you happier and even improving your health. You
can make friendships and learn to keep racism out of this world. The best part
of football is that it’s completely free. It doesn’t take money but rather your
energy and time to make the people around you and yourself better. There can
never be a value of importance on football because as generations come, there
will be more and better reasons why football is important.