Helping Rochester's children through soccer
The overall objective of the FCSL is to contribute to the personal growth of its participants through the enhancement of physical and life skills and improvement of academic performance. Character traits such as a positive self-image, respect for self, ability to get along with others, fair play, and the valuation of individual and team accomplishment are encouraged. FCSL also strives to provide the best possible soccer environment and instruction for the children of Rochester. FCSL runs a house league with participation from various community centers, churches, schools, and YMCAs. It is co-ed and has three age groups: U10, U12 and U14. FCSL runs two sessions annually: the outdoor season runs from mid May to mid August and the indoor season runs from December to mid March. Approximately 500-600 kids participate annually. Due to the economic demographic of kids living in the city (83% at or below the poverty line), participation is free. Currently Quad-A for Kids provides funding for uniforms (shirts, shorts & shin guards), balls, portable goals, insurance and referee fees.
Literally thousands of players have been exposed to the benefits of organized soccer through the coaching and leagues provided by FCSL since its inception. Flower City alumni include four current youth Premier players and numerous All-Greater Rochester High School selections. An FCSL team (Hearts of Oak) has successfully competed in the Rochester District Youth Soccer League and travel tournaments. Some FCSL players are returning to the league as coaches, and teenagers from other parts of Monroe County are now participating as volunteers.
Last winter FCSL had 36 teams, but only 24 coaches.
FCSL would like to expand the age groups e.g. to include other age groups e.g. U8, U16 and add travel teams in each age group. Funding and coaching are the major obstacles. The kids skill level is increasing; funding and involvement from other coaches, clubs and leagues is needed to find an outlet for their talent.
Flower City Soccer has been nearly 100% reliant on Quad-A for funding. It will need to find additional sources of funding to ensure its future.
FCSL will have be accepting donations at the NYSWYSA SoccerFest at Total Sports Experience November 16, 2003, see www.nyswysa.org for more details.