ESPN today announced that for a second time, New York City FC (NYCFC) has been named a finalist for the annual Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award presented by ESPN and sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Each year, this award recognizes teams and organizations for using sports to make a positive impact on society by transforming lives and uplifting local communities. NYCFC is the first and only New York sports team ever to be nominated for this Team of the Year Award.
NYCFC is being recognized for creating a measurable impact throughout the five boroughs. This follows the long-standing tradition of City Football Group (CFG), NYCFC’s ownership, to create free community soccer initiatives throughout New York City.
City in the Community (CITC), the charity supported by NYCFC and CFG, was launched in 2014 to use soccer to tackle social issues around health, education and crime prevention and has been committed to this important work ever since.
New York City is home to some of the highest rates of high school dropouts in the country and is a city where one in three children are obese. Through CITC, NYCFC delivers interconnected free programs to provide safe places for more than 5,000 young people per year to be active, regardless of their socio-economic background. From building 50 mini pitches across the City alongside New York City Soccer Initiative partners, to comprehensive programming that trains young leaders, to the Saturday Night Lights program that opens unused public school gyms in all five boroughs to offers free soccer during times when crime levels are at the highest, NYCFC works to improve kids’ health and social-emotional outcomes. A recent third-party study shows that 90% of youth involved in this programming increased their engagement in physical activity, and there is $4.50 return in health benefits for every $1 invested.
To learn more about CITC’s free soccer programming and how you can sign up for programs across New York City, please visit: nycfc.com/community/new-york. A list of the free CITC programs are outlined here.
The ESPN Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award winner will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday, July 9 at L.A. LIVE The Novo and will be hosted by Grammy Award winner singer and songwriter Ciara and feature a special performance by singer and record producer, Andy Grammer. Highlights of the evening will be showcased during a one-hour program on ESPN, July 18, at 7 p.m. ET.
The Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year winner will be able to direct a $100,000 grant from ESPN to the qualified charity related to the award-winning humanitarian efforts. The finalists will be able to direct a $25,000 grant to the charity related to their award-winning efforts.