Leading up to the Golden Gala—ASA’s 50th Anniversary celebration on March 26, 2022—we are sharing interesting historical facts about the history of ASA. Check in each week to learn about the history of the club, what the early years looked like, who was involved and much more! [Here’s week 1 in case you missed it].
ASA’s first 40 years (1970-2010) were made possible, almost exclusively, by hundreds of volunteers who ran every aspect of the club. Parents and community members served as board members, club president, age group coordinators, field liners, fundraisers, administrators, schedulers, newsletter publishers, coaches and more! In addition to an army of volunteers several key administrators and an executive director (in the mid-1990s) were instrumental in leading and keeping the club organized.
Without the incredible support of so many parents stepping up year after year and investing hundreds of hours of time into ensuring the fields were ready, schedules were set and teams were created, ASA would not exist today. Programming during these first 40 years included the fall and spring recreational league as well as “select” (travel) soccer teams. “Select” teams were organized in a franchise model where parents organized a team themselves and oversaw all “team operations” under the ASA umbrella.
Parents with soccer or sports experience coached both Rec and “Select” teams while others volunteered to create the schedules, entered teams into leagues and tournaments, collected money from families, organized uniforms and more.
With an eye towards sustainability and growth, in 2011 the ASA board of directors transitioned towards professionalizing the club by hiring a full time executive & technical director to oversee these two programs. Tommy Park, ASA’s current ED, was hired for this role in July of 2011.
The first big step towards improving the program quality came in 2012 when ASA restructured the Select soccer program (now called Academy) so that it is administratively managed by the club and teams are coached by professional coaches who are employees of the club.
In the following years, soccer (and then futsal!) participation took off in Alexandria with the addition of tots soccer, training programs, summer camps, international trips, futsal programming, free after school leagues, adult soccer, and most recently, Camp ALEX and School+. The Access4All program was introduced to ensure that ASA would be able to say “YES” to any child who wanted to participate in any program.
As of January 1, 2022 ASA has over 300 volunteer coaches, hundreds of referees, 50+ staff coaches and 14 full time staff. The full time program directors oversee and run 13 programs that offer activities year round for kids ages 2 through adult. In addition to the program directors, ASA has an office administrator, an operations director, a communications director, two deputy directors and an executive director who support all aspects of programming, operations and strategy. This organizational structure supports programming for 6,000+ participants each year.
While day to day operations and program management are no longer run by volunteers ASA would not be able to operate without volunteer rec coaches, team managers, our board of directors and others who support ASA with their time and effort each season. Thank you to everyone who has invested in ASA throughout the years. Your support ensures we can continue to bring soccer and futsal to thousands of kids each year!