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RDA East announces Community Champions program

By Riverhounds Staff, 05/31/18, 10:00AM EDT

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PITTSBURGH (May 31, 2018) – The Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Development Academy’s RDA East team platform has announced the creation of its Community Champions program, a community-focused, cost-free annual program for athletes in the East’s satellite location of Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

Expected at the outset to assist up to 40 total boys and girls between the ages of 8-9, the Community Champions program will ask participating players and their parents to engage in quarterly community-giveback days. Joined by members of the Hounds staff to offer various services to support revitalization projects within Fayette, Westmoreland and Green counties, the participants, selected from the tryouts for the 2018-19 competitive season, will have their annual tuition covered by a local sponsoring corporation soon to be named, in return for these efforts to help better their respective communities.

“We are finalizing efforts with a corporation that is entrenched in these counties, which recognizes the teaching moment that is available to the young athletes in this program,” Sporting Director Jason Kutney said. “This is a meaningful step in reducing costs for soccer families and we are aggressively in search of a company in the Pittsburgh market to offer the same level of support for our main RDA site players.”

The Under-10 platform focuses heavily upon technical development to help players progress in the RDA competitive framework. Training occurs once per week over the course of a 36-week span, in addition to participation in the RDA’s in-house Professional Principles League (PPL) and other select events. Families selected into the RDA East Under-10 Community Champions program will only be responsible for covering the costs of adidas training uniforms and their own travel associated with team events.

“At these young ages, so much is about teaching players the values of discipline, accountability and selflessness,” Kutney said. “Here, we are working to instill these values in a way that encourages boys and girls to become better players and people, while relieving the families of a financial burden in trade for their support of a community service.”

“With the facilities, coaches and resources we are offering to these young players, we feel great about the direction of the RDA East,” RDA East Director James Meara said. “To remove a cost barrier at the youngest age groups will enable us to widen our reach in evaluating young talent in the area while allowing families to evaluate our club. This is a true game-changer.”

While RDA East tryouts started in early May, another two rounds of evaluations will be added for this Under-10 age group in the coming weeks. For families interested in pursuing the Community Champions program, please contact James Meara at jmeara@riverhounds.com.