D.C. United and its non-profit arm, United for D.C., today announced the 2012 “Spring Kick” sponsored by The Meltzer Group. The event, a season ending tournament at the RFK Stadium Training Field, will take place on Wednesday June 6 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. This one-of-a-kind tournament brings together underserved youth from across the metro area to RFK, exemplifying D.C. United’s wide-ranging commitment to the community. All participants have recently completed the 12-week United Soccer Club session, and will have the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of their family and several D.C. United players.
The tournament will feature D.C. United and U-23 U.S. Men’s National Team standout Perry Kitchen and Kensington, Maryland native Ethan White. Throughout the afternoon children will have access to player autographs, D.C. United mascot Talon, carnival games, music, and much more.
Background on United Soccer Club:
United Soccer Club enrolled 700 children in the program this spring, teaching the participants the importance of a healthy lifestyle through physical activity and proper nutrition, as well as life skills that are beneficial on and off the field. The program operates at 12 sites and this season added two middle school teams. All teams met three times a week after school for 90 minute sessions, and players were taught by D.C. United staff, current and former United players, and talented local coaches. Children also participated in a mini league throughout the season, furthering the participant’s sense of team, commitment, and healthy competition.
The 2012 expansion introduced one new site at Payne Elementary School in Ward 6. Middle school programs are held at Harrison Parks and Recreation Center and Friendship Technology and Preparatory Academy. Current first through fifth grade sites include Fort Davis Parks and Recreation Center and Richard England Clubhouse #14 in Ward 7, the Fishing School at J.O. Wilson Elementary School in Ward 6, Barry Farm Recreation Center, Ketcham Elementary School, Boys & Girls Club at Orr Elementary and the FBR Branch at THEARC in Ward 8, Turkey Thicket Recreation Center in Ward 5, Harrison Recreation Center and Parkview Recreation Center in Ward 1, and Long Branch Community Center in Silver Spring, Md.
United Soccer Club was born from a request in Ward 8 for opportunities for children to play organized soccer. In the spring of 2006, United for D.C. launched its own after school soccer program, in partnership with D.C. Parks and Recreation at Barry Farm Recreation Center. The program has incorporated a formal healthy lifestyles curriculum in an effort to combat the region’s high rate of obesity amongst children. The spring session also saw participation in a number of special events including a trip the White House for a clinic with the LA Galaxy and a meeting with the President and First Lady. United Soccer Club, and the entire non-profit arm of D.C. United was recently awarded the 2012 Community Leadership Award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.
United Soccer Club, sponsored by the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Volkswagen, Gallup Government and The Department of Health, is one of the many community outreach ventures of United for D.C. Others include the Kicks for Kids program, through which thousands of underprivileged children will have an opportunity to watch United play this season, as well as United Reads, currently represented in six DC elementary schools. This program distributes between 8,000-10,000 books during player visits throughout the year.