AYSO Joins Worldwide RESPECT Campaign
AYSO has brought the worldwide RESPECT campaign to American youth soccer this fall with its own distinct attitude:”RESPECT Starts.With.Me.”
No one is perfect. Mistakes get made. But when Respect is the foundation of our relationships, we treat each other with courtesy, consideration and patience. Kids watch the behavior of adults and they learn how to relate to the world around them.
The RESPECT Campaign began as a “respect for referees” initiative in Europe and has now spanned the globe, picking up meaning as it has traveled. Under its umbrella U.S. Soccer, the governing body of all soccer in America (AYSO is a member), has launched a fan-respect campaign for fans in the stands; the European Football Union (UEFA) added a diversity and inclusion component and AYSO has kicked the ball further, by embracing it as a campaign for parents, players, referees and coaches.
In AYSO, Respect isn’t about “the other guy,” it always starts with “me”. It means respectful behavior towards other parents, referees (who volunteer their time to ensure that every game is fun, fair and safe), coaches (who dedicate hours every week to make sure every player is learning soccer and having a great AYSO experience), administrators (who give countless hours to register players, line fields, hang nets, set up schedules and rosters, process money and so much more) and, most importantly, the kids that we all care so much about.
Youth sports are as much about learning life lessons as learning the sport on the field. So the RESPECT Campaign encourages everyone to work together to ensure our players are learning the lesson of Respect.
The AYSO “RESPECT.starts.with.me” theme was unveiled at the 2012 National Annual General Meeting in Seattle as the AYSO Section Meeting theme for 2013. But there has been such a wave of requests, that AYSO is breaking with tradition and the theme debuted for the 2012 fall season.
In 2013, AYSO will hold 11 Section Meetings across the nation. These are annual training conferences for volunteers with programming on AYSO coaching, officiating, management, marketing, instruction, development and more. They include workshops, networking events, vendor shows, awards and an opportunity to connect with other volunteers. All AYSO volunteers are invited to attend.
Respect may not specifically be one of the Six Philosophies of AYSO, but it is embedded in everything AYSO does. From Good Sportsmanship to Kids Zone®, Respect on the field, on the sidelines and in the community is what makes AYSO the special organization that it is.
Remember, in AYSO, “RESPECT STARTS.WITH.ME!”