NYSW awarded TOPSoccer Grant - River Flow SC awarded Soccer Start Grant
In all, US Youth Soccer awarded $85,000 to 15 TOPSoccer and 12 Soccer Start soccer groups through its annual grants program for soccer development. Since 1998, the organization has made nearly $2 million available for the growth of the game of soccer through grants and other financial support.
Soccer Start is designed to introduce the sport of soccer to youngsters living in communities not yet served by existing clubs and leagues. Focused on making soccer available to lower-income children in underserved communities, Soccer Start provides soccer training and administrative guidance to players and organizations that might otherwise not be exposed to the sport.
US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl, who has a mental or physical disability.
“We believe US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer and Soccer Start programs further our mission of fostering the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America’s youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition,” said Larry Monaco, president of US Youth Soccer. “We are delighted with the overall quality of the applications received from around the country this year, and look forward to the many positives that are sure to follow.”
Since the first grants were made in 1998, US Youth Soccer has issued 380 awards to groups large and small across the United States. Specifically for TOPSoccer and Soccer Start programs, these grants continue to assist in soccer development programs and furthering the game for all kids.
The 2007 grants represent a wide array of community-based initiatives from across the country.
New York State West Youth Soccer Association TOPSoccer Program
“A successful TOPSoccer program has the dedication of coaches, volunteers and resources to make a difference in the lives of players with disabilities. The New York State West Youth Soccer Association (NSWYSA)is striving to provide more TOPSoccer programs throughout our districts. With the adidas product provided by the US Youth Soccer grant, we are able to start up a new program in Lockport, NY. Spearheading the TOPSoccer program in Lockport is an enthusiastic woman by the name of Erin Minderler. Erin and her volunteers are excited to begin their program this summer. Their commitment and dedication provides a nurturing and safe environment for the players to make it a successful soccer experience. Thank you to US Youth Soccer and adidas for allowing us to be the recipient of this award,” said Teresa Doermer, NYSWYSA TOPSoccer Director.
Teresa has a master’s degree in special education aside from her administration degree. She is currently the education director of the Elizabeth Pierce Olmsted Center for the Visually Impaired in Buffalo, NY. Ms. Doermer started a TOPSoccer program in Buffalo, six years ago after seeing her four kids play soccer and has played a significant role in growing TOPSoccer throughout New York West.
Several TOPSoccer programs are up and running in New York West Youth Soccer Association. The oldest program is in the Binghamton District, run by Dennis Chavez. They will celebrate 10 years of TOPSoccer in 2008.
River Flow Soccer Start Girls (ROCHESTER, NY)
River Flow Soccer Club is more than the only travel soccer club in Rochester, N.Y., consisting of players primarily from the inner city. They are a community dedicated to building productive, responsible citizens actively involved in bridging racial, cultural, and economic divides. Founded in 2005, participating players originally from Somalia, Congo, Jamaica and Puerto Rico (just to name a few) play on the same team everyday devoid of any international conflict. Other players have come from war stricken countries and have managed to make their way to the United States by way of a refugee passport. “Off the field, they speak many languages, but on the field, they all speak ONE,” says President Deon Rodgers.
The mission of the River Flow Soccer Club is to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change in some of the more economically depressed areas of Rochester. River Flow players not only take part in year-round soccer training and matches but are provided academic, cultural, life skill and community programs. Rodgers has been working with male teenage athletes for a number of years and is now focusing his efforts on the ongoing demand for the females to play.
Deon K. Rodgers