This year, the upstate NY division of 1199SEIU has given back to the Rochester community by sponsoring soccer teams, which are open to the children of members and non-members in the area. The teams are part of the Flower City Soccer League, a local non-profit committed to contributing to the personal, physical and academic growth of urban children through soccer.
The cost for participation is $15 per session, making it accessible to youth whose families are struggling financially. “Most soccer programs are too expensive for many kids to participate in. This program is fantastic for all of our kids,” said Ann Steines, an LPN with Unity Health Systems and a former 1199 member. “Two of my own children participate, and I have volunteered as a coach and a mentor. This is important as a resource for all of our youth who otherwise would be overlooked and fall through the cracks.”
Other parents agree that their children are building vital skills and having fun by playing in the league. “It has taught my son confidence, to take direction and to work in a team situation,” said the mother of player Dale Edwards. “His attitude has become more positive and respectful and he is having a blast.”
“My son has participated in the Flower City Soccer League since he was five years old. He is now 12,” said Michelle Killings, a sixth grade teacher with the Rochester public school system. “It has provided him with opportunities he wouldn’t have had otherwise and with good social values. I commend the coaches and volunteers who take the time to make this program a success.”
For more information on the Flower City Soccer League, contact Rickey Elliott, Vice President for New Organizing, by calling (585) 244-0830 ext. 319.