Community encouraged to take 'I Am COS' challenge

·3 min read

Aug. 5—Coastal Outreach Soccer has issued a challenge.

Are you COS? Are you involved in your community? Do you support a bright future for area youth? Do you care about Brunswick and Glynn County?

If the answer is "yes" to any of the above, you can say it. "I Am COS."

COS, a program that offers soccer, academic and leadership development opportunities for youth ages 4 to 18, hopes to spread the word about its mission and values through this initiative.

To take the challenge, an individual or group can post a video and share their community involvement or profession and why they support the values of COS. Then, when posting the video, they issue the challenge to someone else.

Shawn Williams, founder and director of COS, hopes to see the community stand up and share why these values — academic excellence, community service, sportsmanship — are important.

COS families, local student-athletes and other community members and local leaders are encouraged to participate.

"We are wanting our commissioners, we are wanting our school board members, we are wanting our community leaders and business owners to step up as well and take the challenge," Williams said.

The challenge is intended to demonstrate the opportunities that exist through Coastal Outreach Soccer, including involvement in sports, academic support and community service activities.

Anyone who supports these kinds of opportunities for youth in this community is eligible to take the "I Am COS" challenge.

The challenge follows a campaign earlier this year seen on billboards around Brunswick that featured "I Am a Soccer Mom" and "I Am a Soccer Dad" logos along with photos of COS parents and their children.

That promotion put a spotlight on COS families, Williams said. The new one highlights the larger impact of COS's mission.

"When individuals are taking this challenge — and whether that be that they're posting a video or liking a video or making an investment into our program or other youth programs — they're saying yes to these core values of COS," Williams said.

The challenge also serves as a call to action, he said.

"How do we as citizens of our community help to improve our community and therefore improve the lives of everyone who lives in our community?" Williams asked.

COS has served around 85 students this summer and will see participation numbers grow in the fall when students in elementary, middle and high school return.

Over the summer, they've met at least twice weekly at the new futsal court at Perry Park for pick-up games with COS alumni. They've also taken kayak and fishing trips and completed community service work.

"When individuals are thinking about, 'Should I do this challenge? What does it mean to do this challenge?' I want them to think about all of the activities, all of the programs, and how we support our community," Williams said.

The challenge not only promotes COS but also the city of Brunswick, he said.

"We have an important part to play in doing what we can to bring attention to our city, to bring resources to our city," he said. "So when individuals are supporting us, they're supporting that effort that is needed to bring those resources to our children and to their families."

Anyone wishing to donate to the program can do so at www.coastaloutreachsoccer.com.