- Michael Merry
Second Kicks - 2021 Year in Review 🎉
After what was a year full of unprecedented challenges in 2020, Second Kicks bounced back stronger than ever before in 2021 thanks to the support of our amazing donors, supporters, partner organizations, and communities. Although pandemic related challenges still lingered, including interruptions to youth sport leagues, shipping, supply chain challenges, and rapidly changing Public Health regulations, Second Kicks started the year with two very clear objectives in mind: 1) to focus our efforts locally and support more Canadian organizations and youth to return to play; and 2) to maximize and deepen the impact of our international donations.
Looking back at 2021, Second Kicks was able to achieve these goals and partner with many inspiring community-based sport programs both in Canada and internationally along the way! Please read on to see some of our big highlights from the past year and learn more about what is in store for 2022.
Supporting the Return to Play in Canada
Now more than two years removed from when we first learned about COVID-19, we’re no strangers to the challenges and negative impacts that a global pandemic brings with it. Isolation has kept us from seeing our loved ones. It has been a cause of increased anxiety and stressors. And, significantly, it has kept children away from those critical environments – like schools and sports teams – where they can learn, grow and, most importantly, have fun.
However, what we do know as well, is that sport and play are powerful tools that have an unrivalled ability bring people together, to accelerate healing and to help young people reach their full potential.
With this in mind, Second Kicks made it a priority to support as many Canadian organizations as possible and to ensure that, when it was safe to do so, that youth across the country were equipped with all they need to step off the sideline and return to play.
Over the course of 2021, Second Kicks is proud to announced that we provided 40 boxes, jammed pack with tons of equipment including uniforms, cleats, soccer balls, soccer nets and training equipment, to support 10 incredible community-based soccer organizations from coast to coast! From New Brunswick to British Columbia, and in support of a diverse range of communities, non-profit organizations and inspiring individuals looking to make an impact in their communities, Second Kicks was thrilled to play a part helping children get back into the game!
Deepening International Impact
Though high international shipping prices posed a challenge for reaching international organizations, Second Kicks continued to ensure that we were always there to support the community soccer programming of our global partners – both old and new. As part of our response to high shipping costs, Second Kicks strategically looked to deepen its impact by ensuring all international donations were robust and to maximize the reach by grouping shipments for multiple partners in the same region together.
Excitingly, 2021 was bookended by two large scale international shipments that were able to impact thousands of youth. In January, and after a year long process of navigating pandemic related shipping difficulties, Second Kicks provided a donation of soccer gear to our great friends at Open Field to support over 1,000 youth across 3 communities in Cameroon. That momentum was carried right throughout the year as Second Kicks capped off 2021 with a combined donation of 14 boxes of equipment to support soccer programming in several schools and communities across Uganda.
In total, our combined international efforts included shipments to the United States, Uganda, Cameroon and Zimbabwe.
2022: Looking Ahead
In 2022, Second Kicks looks forward to building off the momentum from 2021 and continuing to expand our efforts to support locally while also looking to provide donations that carry a deep impact to organizational partners. Significantly, in Canada our primary goal for 2022 is double the reach and impact we achieved in 2021, and to ride the excitement and soccer frenzy that is soon to come with Canada’s all but confirmed entry into the 2022 FIFA World Cup. To support Second Kicks and help us achieve our goals in 2022, there are 3 easy ways to get involved and support our work:
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On behalf of Seconds Kicks, we extend a heartfelt thank you to all our donors and supporters who help us enable youth around the world to engage in fun, meaningful, and life changing soccer experiences.