Rocket City Soccer Foundation Reaches Out to Local Soccer Community
When Andy Zorovich created Rocket City United in 2007, he didn’t want it to be simply a minor league sports team, but an organization fully engaged with the community. In order to do so Rocket City United had to provide something the community didn’t have: high-level soccer coaching at low to no cost. Hence, the creation of two entities: Rocket City United (RCU), the team, and the Rocket City Soccer Foundation (RCSF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving both players and coaches on personal and technical levels.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and one of the oldest, with historical ties to ancient Greece, Egypt, and Asia. Despite its global appeal, transcending class and nation, soccer in America continues to be ‘pay to play’ at the youth level. Rocket City United seeks to broaden soccer’s reach and bring this universally-beloved sport to the masses, starting right here in the Tennessee Valley.
“We just want everyone to be able to play,” says Zorovich, citing the Foundation’s unofficial mantra. “We take professional coaching and bring it to anyone based on their desire for the game, their willingness to work, and their playing ability.”
The Rocket City Soccer Foundation currently provides two programs: Coaching for Soccer Coaches at any level of play, and Player Clinics for recreational, competitive, and school associations. It seeks not only to teach technical skills, but also improve all of its players and coaches by providing a platform for a certain type of community citizen to be created. This is called the Rocket City Soccer Initiative, and has four elements:
R, for Rocket and Respect: Everyone that goes through the program learns to have respect. The Rocket City Soccer Foundation believes that respect for yourself and respect for other people is key both in the program and in society.
C, for City and Commitment. “We want to instill in people the value of commitment; making sure that when you commit to something you follow through,” says Zorovich. The Rocket City Soccer Foundation has committed to serving the community, not for one year or two years, but “for the rest of our lives.”
S, for Soccer and Service: Anyone that works with or is involved with Rocket City United must have the spirit of service. Rocket City United believes that when its members give, their service not only benefits others but also spreads the willingness of others to give back in the same fashion.
I, for Initiative and Integrity: This initiative describes the value of doing what you say you are going to do. “We’re going to deliver on our promises,” says Zorovich. “We strive to always follow through.”
Rocket City United uses these four key words in all its activities. Players and Coaches learn that if they’re going to be involved with RCU they need to believe in and follow its ideals.
The Rocket City Soccer Foundation serves our community by hosting The Academy, a summer program for youth players who want to get professional training on a regular basis. The Academy is designed to give high-level coaching to anyone regardless of ability to pay: for just $15 players can attend as many of the 16 sessions over two months as they like.
The Partner Club Program is another RCSF service which works with individual organizations for free, aiding them with player evaluations, coaching clinics, and skill training for players. Fifteen organizations are currently enrolled in some facet of this program, and by the by the time of this publication there will be even more organizations taking advantage of this amazing service to the community.
The Rocket City Soccer Foundation relies on the support of local businesses, individuals, and grants to continue with its community programs. For more information on these programs, or to volunteer or donate to the Rocket City Soccer Foundation, please visit the RCSF website at www.rcunited.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.