NEW YORK – The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) was honored to be recognized with the Game-Changer Award at Grassroot Soccer’s annual World AIDS Day Gala, where SNF representatives highlighted the shared values that spur both organizations to help young people improve their physical and mental health. SNF was honored alongside the TV show Ted Lasso.
“Grassroot Soccer has embraced the most popular team sport on the planet, one enjoyed by young people everywhere regardless of origin or status, in order to embrace youth everywhere around the world. The genius of their approach is in harnessing the skills soccer fosters—perseverance, self-awareness and self-discipline, and, most importantly, team spirit—to help ensure they can live healthy lives, physically and mentally. We are very proud and honored to be able to support this great effort,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos in a personal statement read at the event.
“With partners like Grassroot Soccer, we aim to help destigmatize mental health challenges, enhance access to essential services, and foster well-being,” said SNF Programs Co-Director Casey Russo. “These are values that we believe are core to SNF’s grantmaking in the field of mental health.”
SNF has supported Grassroot Soccer’s MindSKILLZ program, a play-based youth mental health methodology SNF Program Officer Aurélie Avice saw in action through sessions Grassroot Soccer offered kids at SNF Nostos 2023.
“Having participated in the activities organized by Grassroot Soccer at the SNF Nostos Conference in Athens last June,” she said, “I witnessed firsthand the impact of the MindSKILLZ program, bringing smiles and addressing serious issues to help young people get a better handle on their mental health.”