Chester Upland Youth Soccer Players Look Forward to Relaunch of High School Team
Chester, PA; June 16, 2019 -- It has been 30 years since the Chester School District had a high school soccer team. This fall, it will have not one but two, and the younger players trained through Chester Upland Youth Soccer will become their biggest fans and CUYS players will make up the first teams.
The Philadelphia Union Foundation, Power Home Remodeling, Adidas, and the Chester School District are working together to kick off junior varsity and middle school soccer teams for boys and girls in the fall of 2019, and adding a varsity program for boys and girls in the fall of 2020.
The pipeline for this program will inevitably be Chester Upland Youth Soccer, who, during the 2018 season, hosted 551 children aged in Soccer for Success, a free after-school, soccer-based program established in 2012 designed to nurture, mentor, and support the under-served youth of Chester and the surrounding areas. Chester Upland Youth Soccer helped support the formation of the middle school soccer team in 2017 whose players will funnel into the high school program.
Through the program, children have developed fundamental soccer skills and a love of the game while their families’ involvement have helped build a culture that fosters healthy lifestyles and a belief in the power of teamwork. This fall, they can come together with pride in support of their school teams, and the younger players can dream about the days when they are old enough to play at that level themselves.
"The owners and leaders of the Philadelphia Union have generously contributed to the Foundation with the goal of establishing a first-class soccer team and related facilities for Chester HS,” said Hayes Hunt, Chairman of the Union Foundation.
New practice fields, revamped game fields, outfitting by Adidas, coaches and coaching support, and game operations will all be part of this new commitment of the Philadelphia Union Foundation to grow the presence and power of soccer in Chester. In addition to hosting the matches at their home fields at the STEM Academy at Showalter, the teams will also play select games at the Union's home: Talen Energy Stadium.
“Now it is more important than ever to ensure that younger soccer players get on the path to reaping all the benefits of team sports and exposure to coaches who can inspire them to greatness on and off the field for years to come,” stated CUYS Executive Director Brendan Grady.
Chester Upland Youth Soccer has received generous support from the US Soccer Foundation, the Philadelphia Union Foundation, The Foundation for Delaware County, Chester Crozer Health System, the Taylor Community Foundation and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Among the many donation opportunities: Organizations and generous individuals can opt to "Adopt a Team," with full sponsorship benefits, at the $400, $800 and $1600 levels. In the fall of 2019, CUYS expects to support 24 teams.
During the seven years of CUYS’ existence, 79% of participants at greater risk of health issues have improved their BMI (Body Mass Index). Equally importantly and impressively, 80% of participants surveyed have felt better about themselves at the end of the Soccer for Success season.
Additionally, Chester Upland Youth Soccer has built and maintained 12 raised bed gardens in the community, distributes healthy recipes and hosts shared meals for teams and their families.