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Off The Bench is an advocacy organization designed to increase female participation at the elite level in the sports of soccer, volleyball, lacrosse and the "AMERICA Spirit."

Our mission is two-fold:
  1. To enhance participation and opportunities by historically excluded players currently competing at the Olympic Development Program (ODP), Collegiate, and National Team level, and

  2. To promote and encourage young women of color under the age of 14 to take up the sports of soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse.
With regard to the first objective we primarily serve as advocates and intermediaries for young women of color who may be experiencing unfair or discriminating practices in the sports of soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse.

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Our primary goal in promotion is to provide low-income girls of color the opportunity to develop soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse skills at a young age. Due to financial, demographic, or social hardships, young women of color are many times discouraged from pursuing the sport of soccer. Rather than choosing soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse, many young women of color might opt for track or basketball, which are often more minority tolerant and economically feasible.

Julie Foudy Leadership Soccer Camp
Off The Bench aims to reverse this trend by providing talented low-income, young women of color with emotional and financial support so that they may access the same opportunities as their sometimes more affluent counterparts. Through our two-fold mission we aspire to augment the number of young women of color competing in the sports of soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse, thereby enhancing the richness, diversity, and talent of Women's Soccer, Women's Volleyball, and Women's Lacrosse in the USA.

Scholarships are available to young women in middle school between the ages of 9 and 14 years.

We would like to acknowledge the following colleges that support us: UCLA, USC, UVA, UNC, NCSU, Rutgers, Princeton, Maryland, William and Mary, Florida State, Florida International, University of Central Florida, Yale, Harvard, Radford, Notre Dame, James Madison, and the University of Texas.

We also thank the Soccer Camps of America, Judy Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, Carolina Courage, Freedom Camp, and many more...

Read Soccer 2008: From A-Z - A look back on the year that was in futbol, by Andrew Dixon, III,

Contact Off the Bench at or call (919)612-8873.

From July 1st through the 4th, I went to a goalkeeper's camp at UNC. All of the campers stayed on campus in the dormitories. I met a lot of new friends from across the country. There were also many coaches from different states. Everyone was very supportive and friendly. It was like a whole new team of goalkeepers. This was a great experience and I learned a lot from it. The coaches taught us new skills to work on and also helped improve old skills. We had a chance to interact with and learn from all of the coaches and players from Carolina's women soccer team. I really enjoyed the camp and hope I will get the chance to go again.

Thank you OFF the Bench for everything. I really appreciate all that you have done. Hopefully others will get the same experience I was able to enjoy.

Zaria Maynard

Hello! It's Breon. I'm just letting you know that I just got back home from camp at USC. Camp was great! The soccer was competitive and at a high level, the fitness training was intense and the girls there were very nice and welcoming. I liked the coaching staff a lot. I enjoyed the challenges they presented and the method and style of their coaching. Thank you so much for all of your help in getting me into this camp. I really enjoyed myself and learned a lot too. I would also like to thank you for the wonderful gift I had waiting for me at home! Everything inside is perfect! Thank you so much!

Breon W.

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