Grassroot Soccer: Using the power of soccer in the fight against HIV and AIDS Flag

  • Award Entered:
    Sport for Health Award
  • Parent Organisation:
    Grassroot Soccer (GRS)
  • Project Host Nation:
    South Africa
  • Overview of Project:
    Founded by former professional soccer players, GRS trains soccer stars, coaches, teachers, and peer educators in the world's most HIV-affected countries to deliver an interactive, sports-based HIV prevention and life skills curriculum to boys and girls aged 10-18 years. Informed by the latest research in HIV prevention and youth development, the GRS model focuses on healthy decision-making, building support networks, reducing stigma/discrimination, promoting HIV testing and treatment, and addressing the epidemic’s key drivers. GRS has partnered with more than 30 government agencies, corporations, NGOs, CBOs, and FBOs worldwide. As a direct result of these partnerships and its own flagship programs, GRS has provided comprehensive HIV prevention education to more than 285,000 young people since 2003. Numerous formal evaluations—in Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Liberia, Sudan, Botswana, Ethiopia, and the Dominican Republic—have documented GRS’ effectiveness in significantly reducing sexual risk behaviour, decreasing stigma, and improving students’ knowledge, attitudes, communication, and decision-making skills related to HIV/AIDS. A 2008 behavioural study found that, 2-5 years after the intervention, GRS graduates in Zimbabwe were significantly less likely than their matched peers to report sexual debut between age 12-15, sexual activity in the last year, and ever having had more than one sexual partner.

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