Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today that the club is renewing its partnership with New Jersey Youth Soccer, an affiliate of U.S. Youth Soccer and the United States Soccer Federation. The partnership showcases a continued commitment to the growth of the game of soccer throughout New Jersey and increased exposure for the women’s professional game.
“As I’ve recently moved into this role, an important first step for me was to recommit and refresh our relationship with New Jersey Youth Soccer,” stated Sky Blue General Manager Alyse LaHue. “They are a crucial partner for us as we transition forward and I’m excited by the conversations and the willingness to explore new initiatives that will have an affect particularly on women and girls in soccer in the state of New Jersey.”
Sky Blue FC and NJYS will be working together on multiple collaborations throughout the season to contribute to the growth of the game, including Sky Blue FC player appearances at NJYS events, participation in the NJYS Awards Banquet, involvement at TOPSoccer events, and several group appearances at Sky Blue FC home games this season including the following dates:
May 25 – Night of Champions (Celebration of the U11/U14 NJYS State Cup Champions)
June 22 – Olympic Development Program Night
June 22 – Night of Champions (Celebration of the U15/U19 NJYS State Cup Champions)
September 7 – TOPSoccer Night
September 15 – NJ Youth Soccer Night
Both groups are also exploring initiatives to recruit and retain women at all levels of the game including coaching, refereeing, and administrative roles, as well as off-field initiatives around leadership and motivation for retaining youth girls’ players to stay in the game.
“We are very pleased to renew our partnership with Sky Blue FC and to continue our support of the professional women’s game,” said Evelyn Gill, President of NJ Youth Soccer. “The women of Sky Blue FC and the National Women’s Soccer League serve as tremendous role models for young athletes everywhere, both on and off the playing field. We have great pride in Sky Blue FC being a professional representative of New Jersey, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them for many years to come.”
On May 11th, Sky Blue FC defender Mandy Freeman attended the Young Olympians Festival and spoke to a group of young girls about her experiences in soccer and provided advice on the importance of hard work and perseverance. The Young Olympians program, designed specifically for players born in 2008 and 2009, is an introductory stage for those who aspire to play at a high level and provides a path to participate in the Olympic Development Program (ODP).
“I loved speaking with the girls participating in the festival. For being so young they had great questions about my career playing soccer and what it’s like being a professional,” Said Sky Blue FC Defender Mandy Freeman. “What surprised me the most were how many questions they had about my favorite subjects in school and what it takes to succeed in the classroom. It’s amazing that at their age they’re already thinking about how to be the best player on and off the field.”
About NJ Youth Soccer Association:
New Jersey Youth Soccer, a 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with U.S. Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Federation, is comprised of more than 100,000 players from 5 to 19-years-old; 20,000+ coaches; and thousands of volunteers. Members collectively support the sport of soccer through training, practice, competition and the spirit of good sportsmanship. The association features recreational, travel soccer programs at multiple skill levels; Olympic Development Programs (ODP); tournaments including the National Championship series; coach and referee training and certification programs; and TOPSoccer, a program for children with special needs.
About Sky Blue FC
Based in New Jersey, Sky Blue FC is one of the nine member clubs in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), which boasts the entire U.S. Women’s National Team and some of the greatest international players in the world. Operated by Sky Blue Women’s Soccer Inc., Sky Blue FC was originally established in the fall of 2006, making its debut on the field with the launch of Jersey Sky Blue in the W-League of the United Soccer Leagues in 2007. Sky Blue FC made its professional debut in 2009, winning the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer championship that year. Sky Blue was also a founding member of NWSL, which launched officially in 2013.
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