10 Days, 5000 Kids, 1 Community — The Impact of ASA

This post will continue to be updated during the last 10 days of December.

2017 was an incredibly busy, fun and fulfilling year at Alexandria Soccer Association. We launched new programs, developed new facilities, served more kids than ever before and grew our scholarship fund to support even more players.

We’re thankful and in awe of our community and the support we have received from parents, community organizations, partner non-profits, the Alexandria Public School System and more.

During the last ten days of 2017 we want to highlight some of the special things YOU helped us accomplish this year.

Our vision—to be the gold standard for community based soccer clubs-creating a lifelong love of soccer and impacting the community beyond the sport—is the center of all that we do.

In September we launched two after school scholarship soccer leagues at Title 1 elementary schools in Alexandria.

You can read about the after school league program HERE and see some of the highlights below.

ASA’s 02 Boys Futsal ID team traveled to San Jose, California in July to compete in and win the United States Futsal Federation National Championship!

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Over the past few years ASA has partnered with the City of Alexandria Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities Department to build futsal courts!

In 2017 we helped open three multi-use athletic courts at Powhatan Park and William Ramsay Recreation Center. The courts, which were originally lined just for tennis, can now be used for tennis, pickleball or futsal. With the infrastructure already in place we worked with the city to have the courts lined for futsal and goals added.

The courts are open for neighborhood use and provide a safe place to play for kids after school or on weekends (if you live nearby, you’ve probably seen them in use!). We’ve also used the courts for futsal ID practices and our after school soccer league.

This initiative is something we will continue to work on because it’s important to us to provide safe places to play for kids in our community.

We’re proud of our incredible diverse community. The flags below are just a small sampling of the countries we have represented at ASA!

The 02 Boys Red team Academy manager and 02 Boys Futsal ID manager, Drew Dietrich, was voted Volunteer of the Year by VYSA!

We’re thrilled that an ASA parent was selected for this honor but award or not, we are SO thankful for Drew’s tireless effort over the past year. We could never begin to list all of the things he’s done to support the teams and ASA but we’ll try to name a few of the roles he’s played: fundraiser, chauffeur, travel logistics coordinator, mentor, confidant, videographer (he live streamed every game at Futsal Nationals so that fans back home could tune in!) and all around incredible supporter.

Drew taking a minute with the Futsal National Championship trophy!

The work of ASA would not be possible without the hundreds of volunteer coaches (in our Recreational program), managers and supporters in our community.

Thank you Drew! Your passion, dedication and commitment is unmatched.

In 2017 ASA had a team qualify for US Youth Soccer’s National League for the first time ever.

“The National League features the top 256 teams in the 14U through 18U Boys and Girls age groups. With teams in each age group divided into eight-team divisions, each side has had to earn its place in the league through success in US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues and National Championship Series play.

The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country and for continued development and opportunities for exposure at the national team, collegiate and professional levels.”

As we write this, our 02 Boys Red team is headed to Orlando to compete in their second National League tournament held at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Soccer Complex. You can read a bit about this tournament HERE.

Joining the National League is a huge undertaking for both ASA and player’s parents with tournament travel as far away as Las Vegas. Nonetheless, this is an opportunity for our team to experience high level competition, grow as a team, experience new places and ultimately get seen by college coaches.

ASA 02 Boys Red walk out in preparation for a National League game during their first tournament.

Much like many of the impacts we’ve talked about in Days 1–5 this opportunity is a total community effort. Coach Chris has gone above and beyond to organize, coach, prepare and travel to games. Managers and parents have rented vans for travel and shuffled kids to extra practices. Player’s have worked snack tents and refereed to raise money for their team travels.

You can follow along on their journey as they continue National League competition in 2018!

ASA’s Recreational Soccer League is Alexandria’s largest recreational youth sports league (out of any other sport!).

Our oldest, as well as largest program within the club—the Recreational League has just under 3,000 annual participants. This program, which is organized and run by ASA, is made possible by our volunteer coaches.

If you’ve driven around Alexandria on Saturday mornings in the Spring or Fall you’ve probably seen lots of little red and blue jerseys running around our local fields.

If you’ve ever considered volunteering as a coach you can read a bit more about one mom’s experience HERE! The Recreational League is an incredibly FUN atmosphere for all ages. The emphasis for this program is on having fun with friends while playing soccer and being active. Thank you to the coaches and volunteers who make this league possible and help ASA give so many kids in our diverse community an opportunity to play year after year!

Since the beginning we’ve placed a priority on ensuring that every kid who wanted to play had access to soccer.

This year, we’ve taken our commitment to providing access to quality soccer a step further. We’ve rolled many initiatives into one big program and we’re calling it the Access4All Project. This encompasses our Scholarship After School League, our outreach clinics at local recreational centers and schools, our scholarship program and more. We’re constantly working to ensure that underserved communities in Alexandria get the opportunity to play soccer, whether it be after school or for an hour during summer camp. As we kick off the new year keep an eye out for branding around this project.

If you’re interested in us visiting your school or rec center to put on a soccer clinic OR have a different request for us to get involved with the community, please email [email protected]. We want to reach as many kids as possible, with a focus on underserved communities.

Spring2Action is “Alexandria’s Giving Day, a 24-hour online event that provides a simple way to connect donors to the charitable causes.”

Each year ASA uses Spring2Action as a fundraising day — funds we raise on this day help us develop facilities, support programming, ensure we are able to provide the best soccer experience to all kids in our community and support our scholarship program.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 25th, 2018!

As we get closer to April we’ll be sure to share our donate page as well as announce some special matching hours throughout the day wherein all donations raised will be matched. Every donation, no matter how much, helps us continue to serve more kids in Alexandria than any other organization.

Happy New Year! Thank YOU for your support this year. We can’t wait to see what next year holds. None of what we do would be possible without your support.

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