HOW AND WHY WE'RE HELPING TO CHANGE LIVES
We are FC Frederick, a soccer club in western MD, and no one loves the sport more! Last spring we created The Golden Mile Soccer program and were blown away by how important it’s become in the lives of hundreds of young athletes in our community.
We know our goal of raising $20,000 sounds lofty, but we also know first hand that this program – which is FREE for all players – is capable of changing lives and putting kids on a new path by getting them into healthy and enriching activities.
Golden Mile Soccer includes hundreds of kids from several high poverty elementary schools in our area. These children have little to no access to after school sports of any type, and many of them view soccer as an integral part of their culture. We strongly believe in this program, which is why we’ve been doing everything we can to ensure its success and longevity.
We can’t do this without community support and that’s why we’re asking for your help. Keep reading to learn more about how we got here and where the money goes to support the program.
For more than 20 years FC Frederick has provided coaching, player development programs, and leadership experiences for boys and girls who love soccer. Thousands of these players have played on high school varsity teams, become a part of state and regional Olympic Development Programs, and gone on to play soccer in college, often on scholarship.
Recently, we started working for the Frederick County Public School (FCPS) system in after-school programs at three high poverty elementary schools in an area of town known as the “Golden Mile.” We discovered that a significant number of kids in the program had no access to after school sports. As most recreational and competitive sports programs use fee-for-service models, many families simply couldn’t afford to sign their kids up.
The realization that so many kids and families were being excluded from soccer was the catalyst for FC Frederick to kick off a community outreach campaign, and establish a FREE program that is now known as Golden Mile Soccer.
The initiative received a warm reception from area residents and local businesses, and helped us develop strategic partnerships with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), the Frederick YMCA and Police Athletic League, the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association, the Frederick County Health Department, and the City of Frederick Department of Parks & Recreation. Working with these partners, we were able to create a ZERO cost program that saw participation from over 375 kids last spring (2012), some of whom are really talented. It was amazing!
MORE THAN JUST A GAME
Being able to provide the kids of the Golden Mile area with the same opportunities as other kids is important in a lot of different ways. We know that a team environment has the ability to drive kids toward bettering themselves and improves their chances for success, not only in athletics, but in everything they do in life. Being involved with sports as a kid provides a framework based on respect, teamwork and participation, and so many kids miss out on the chance to reinforce these important life lessons.
In addition, the partnership with the Health Department has enabled us to engage and educate participating parents and caregivers on the importance of physical activity and the seriousness of childhood obesity and its risk factors, as well to provide them with potential strategies for preventing the disease.
The support of the Frederick community has been exceptional. Families, small businesses, local non-profits, and the city itself have all opened their hearts and their bank accounts in support of this effort.
WHAT WE NEED AND WHY
We are trying to raise $20,000 as part of a 4-year plan to make Golden Mile Soccer a permanent part of the lives of the kids in this community.
There are two basic components to the plan:
- to deliver a FREE high quality soccer program that includes the services of a coaching director and administrator, and supplies all the other items necessary for a successful program such as equipment, uniforms, soccer balls, goals, field maintenance, insurance, etc.
- to create a scholarship fund that will provide aid to talented players and allow them to join our travel teams and compete at the highest levels in the state and region.
$40,000 will not cover all the expenses needed to run Golden Mile Soccer and provide scholarships for kids that deserve a chance to play with our travel teams. However, it will provide us with a solid base — $10,000 a year for 4 years — that we will supplement with grants and local business sponsorships to make ends meet. More importantly, it will also provide us with TIME we need to recruit additional volunteers and develop an alternative to the typical fee-for-service model seen in youth sports, so that we can keep the program FREE, permanently. Funds we receive through this RallyMe campaign that exceed that target amount will only help in furthering our mission.
DO WHAT YOU CAN AND PASS ALONG OUR STORY
In order for us to reach our goal we need your contribution, and we need your help spreading the word.
Our hope is that the Golden Mile Soccer story will reach communities all around the country and inspire others, so please, share this information with the people in your personal and professional networks who you think may be interested.
To learn more about FC Frederick and the Golden Mile Soccer Program you can visit this section of our website: http://www.fcfrederick.com/goldenMile.cfm
Thanks you so much for your support!
NOTE: FC Frederick, an entity described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is qualified to receive contributions that are deductible for federal income tax purposes. Tax ID: 61-1441486
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Where does the name Golden Mile Soccer come from?
The “Golden Mile” refers to a “beleaguered” area along Md. Route 40 in Frederick, MD comprised of fast food restaurants, strip malls, acres of asphalt, and occasional empty storefronts. In a grant submission, the Frederick County Public School system (FCPS) described this area as follows:
Rapid population growth has resulted in a scarcity of services for children, youth and families, particularly those facing multiple risks and adversities. Scarce services include lack of access to youth development activities for children during the often unsupervised and unstructured hours after school, quality family engagement programs targeted to diverse populations and access to health care.
FCPS concluded that after school recreation programs are needed at “three high poverty schools … Hillcrest, Lincoln and Waverly Elementary Schools.” Currently, there is no local soccer program available to children in this area of Frederick City.
According to FCPS, 22% of children living in this area were in poverty. In addition, FCPS noted that Frederick City’s Hispanic population grew by 271% over the last decade, and that the bulk of this growth occurred along the Golden Mile.
2. Can You Tell Me More About FC Frederick?
FC Frederick has been operating continuously in the greater Frederick County area since 1989. During that period, FCF has placed over 350 players onto college rosters, more than 150 players onto Olympic Development Program teams, and thousands of players onto High School Varsity and Junior Varsity soccer teams. Currently, FCF provides elementary school level services and programming to over 900 players from 30 different schools.
The club’s teams compete in some of the best leagues in the nation including the Virginia Club Champions League, the Atlantic Soccer League, the US Youth Soccer National League, the Region1 Premier and Colonial Leagues, the National Capital Soccer League, and the Washington Area Girls Soccer League.
Since 2003, FCF has taken an active leadership role in promoting coaching education, and has hosted both NSCAA courses and USSF National Youth Licenses courses. To date, Forty-eight (48) FC Frederick coaches have received their National Youth License, one of the highest totals of any soccer club in the United States.
3. Can You Tell Me More About The GMS Program?
The curriculum set forth in the USSF National Youth License, as well as the NSCAA Youth Level III & IV Diplomas, serves as the guiding philosophy for all training sessions conducted by the Golden Mile Soccer staff. The curriculum is designed to create a learning environment that allows young players to experiment, have fun, and develop a true passion for the game. A key component of this curriculum is the use of “developmentally appropriate” training activities that mesh with the variety of stages—physical, cognitive, and social—that children pass through as they grow and mature. United States Soccer Federation, National Youth License Course Material (2002); Ron Quinn and Tom Fleck, Great Soccer Drills: The Baffled Parents Guide (2002). Al Albert, former President of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, made the following observation about FC Frederick’s youth program curriculum: “From what I have seen in my travels and experiences, FC Frederick has one of the finest youth development programs of any youth soccer club in the United States.”
4. Can You Tell Us About The Partners Working With FC Frederick On The Golden Mile Soccer Program?
FC Frederick has a number of strategic partners and supporters that work with the GMS program.
Al Albert, a founding member of the Urban Soccer Collaborative1 and former NSCAA president provides experience, insight, and advice to GMS.
The YMCA of Frederick County and the Police Activities League (PAL), two 501(c)(3) organizations with a demonstrated history of commitment to the children in the GMS area, have helped facilitate acceptance of the GMS program, and provided administration, communication, and outreach support.
The Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI) and the Frederick County Health Department, as part of ongoing childhood obesity initiatives, work with GMS to engage and educate participating parents and caregivers on the seriousness of childhood obesity and its risk factors.
The Maryland State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA) and its Director of Coaching, Bill Stara, provide coaching education and other support services to GMS.
Finally, the support of the City of Frederick Parks and Recreation Department is absolutely central to the success of GMS because of its willingness to provide fields free of charge.
5. Is FC Frederick Seeking Grant Money and Local Sponsors to Help Support The Program?
Absolutely! To begin with, FC Frederick itself is a huge supporter of GMS, having donated an equipment storage container and purchased goals and other equipment to help get GMS off the ground last year. In addition, FC Frederick’s professional coaching staff and administrators have volunteered countless hours on behalf of the program.
In addition to FC Frederick’s support, Golden Mile Soccer received 2 grant awards last year:
- NSCAA Foundation Grant (2012) – provided a full-day NSCAA clinic for no cost to GMS volunteer coaches.
- Dustin Muse Youth Athletic Grant (2012) – received $4,000 which was used to purchase a soccer ball for every GMS participant.
Golden Mile Soccer also received donations from a number of individuals and the following local businesses:
- The Greene Turtle Restaurant – provided t-shirts to every GMS participant.
- Charles Mays Port-o-Johns – donated a … Port- o- John!
- Frederick Signs – donated participation medals for the end-of-season Festival
The Urban Soccer Collaborative is “a cooperative platform that supports youth development programs [that] are using soccer to serve vulnerable youth in under-resourced communities, providing them and the youth they serve, with opportunities, resources, and standards of excellence.” Visit www.urbansoccercollaborative.org
Select A Support Level
$10A personal email thanking you for your support!
$40Personal email thank you, and special recognition on the Golden Mile Soccer page on FC Frederick’s website.
$100All of the above, and a Golden Mile Soccer T-shirt. Est. delivery – May 2013 (T-shirts arrive after next GMS season starts in April of 2013).
$200All of the above, and a soccer ball customized with the FC Frederick crest. Est. delivery – May 2013 (balls arrive after our next GMS season starts in April of 2013)
$500All of the above, and a soccer training top embroidered with the FC Frederick crest & Golden Mile Soccer logo.Est. delivery – May 2013 (training tops arrive after our next GMS season starts in April of 2013)
$1,000ADOPT A TEAM! – All of the above, and a 5 x 7 photo of YOUR Golden Mile team holding a sign thanking you for your support! Est. delivery – May 2013 (photos taken after our next season which starts in April of 2013)
$2,500All of the above, plus a three hour clinic for your team or club from a college soccer coach. The coach will be delivered directly to YOUR FIELDS! Est. delivery – To be determined based on date that works best for team/club and college coach.