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Health and Wellness Through Sports – Driving Change in Urban Communities

Kyle Martino, Founder, Over Under Initiative

Former professional soccer player Kyle Martino, Founder of the Over Under Initiative, explained that soccer is the greatest social empowerment conduit on the planet, played by countless people around the globe. However, in the U.S. we have taken this inclusive game and manufactured friction between those who need the game and those who actually play it. 

Traveling the world with the game and understanding how people played it allowed Martino to understand how over-marketed the game was in the U.S. We don’t need a field, we only need a space. Martino said he realized that every basketball court has a built-in soccer field beneath it, so he spent two years helping to design a court that allowed kids to play several games within the same space. 

Martino explained that through his Over Under Initiative, he is on a mission to spread the joy that soccer brought to his life. This low-cost, high-impact approach to designing courts will make the game more accessible to urban communities. In this way, the game can reach the kids that need it the most. 

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Soccer is accessible to everyone, but in the U.S. we have erected artificial barriers to learning and playing the game.
  • In urban areas, basketball courts can be converted to accommodate soccer games, allowing kids without access to large soccer fields to play and love the sport. 

“There is a very low-cost, high-impact way to solve a massive health crisis for these kids.”


Kyle Martino, Founder, Over Under Initiative