Roadrunner Youth Soccer Organization
The Roadrunner Youth Soccer Organization is a year round program that integrates academics, leadership development, service learning, and soccer in order to help low income youth to: improve their academic performance, stay active and healthy, grow as leaders in their community, and to develop as competitive soccer players.
Soccer has become a rich kids sport, and the pay-to-play model is keeping too many low income kids off the soccer field. According to a recent study by the Aspen Institute, “now more than ever, it takes significant resources such as time, access, and money to develop as an athlete and be fully engaged in organized sport activities. This reality eliminates or limits access to quality sports opportunities for millions of American kids in low income families.” Low income youth face many barriers, such as transportation, money, and time. Money is the biggest barrier that low income youth face. When families have a difficult time just paying rent and buying food, soccer is not even an option. Transportation is another huge barrier, because many players don’t have rides to get to games or practice sessions. Time is also a significant barrier, because parents work a lot of hours and often miss practice or games, and some families have several children, and they just don’t have the time to get kids to soccer.
Roadrunner Youth Soccer Organization is focused on helping low income youth overcome barriers to play competitive soccer.
Many kids have the dream of becoming pro players, and the path to pro is very complex and filled with uncertainties, but a few things are certain, if kids don’t have an opportunity to play soccer, if they don’t have an opportunity to train hard and develop their skills, if they don’t get help they need with school work, then there is no possible way for them to become a professional player. Too often, the dreams of playing soccer are shot down at an early age because the kids growing up in poverty don’t even have a chance to play.
Youth participants are selected based on financial need, their desire to play competitive soccer, and their academic potential.
The youth are expected to earn their time on the field by performing in the classroom. If the youth are falling behind in their classes, then they must focus on bringing their grades up before they can play. We work closely with the classroom teachers to ensure that the students are performing as expected. We require participants to keep track of their assignments on a daily basis, and they report their grades to the coach on a weekly basis.
Experiential education is also a key component of the program. Hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities are integrated into the program. The activities help to keep their interest, and provides them with an opportunity to broaden their horizons.