Switch the Pitch Hub Launch

Oakland Roots and Common Goal team up to teach anti-racism in youth football

Oakland Roots Sports Club and Common Goal have teamed up to launch the first-ever regional training hub for Switch the Pitch - the youth-facing component of the Anti-Racist Project.  

Created and led by Common Goal community members Soccer Without Borders, Soccer in the Streets, America SCORES, and others, Switch the Pitch features insights from current and former professional players from MLS, NWSL, and USL who have experienced various forms of discrimination throughout their careers, and combines live and online educational workshops with a gamified ‘league’ where coaches and their teams compete against each other. 

While Switch the Pitch was launched last year, a new cohort model is being introduced to the programme. The Oakland Hub will bring together 50 coaches from youth football clubs around the Bay Area to participate in a ground-breaking, interactive curriculum designed to help them tackle issues like discrimination, unconscious bias, identity, and allyship. The cohort model aims to enable coaches and players to build community regionally and motivate each other to participate in the Switch the Pitch curriculum.  

Matt Fondy, a former Oakland Roots SC player who now runs Oakland Genesis Soccer Club, said, “I started using the Switch the Pitch curriculum with my team and in just a few months noticed a change in how my players interacted with each other, dealt with adversity and expressed their feelings. What was most exciting to me was watching my players’ curiosity grow. They wanted to know more about the world around them and their place in it.”   

The first workshop for the Oakland Switch the Pitch Hub is scheduled to take place at Oakland Roots SC’s UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Training Facility on Saturday, March 18th.   

“Building safe soccer spaces begins with the grassroots so it’s essential that we provide youth coaches with the skills they need. We’re proud to join Common Goal in leading the way in the fight against racism and discrimination in soccer in the United States,” said Oakland Roots SC Chief Purpose Officer Mike Geddes.