In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, area soccer clubs and organizations have joined to form DMV UNITED. The group consists of clubs large and small that provide soccer programming, coaching, recreational leagues and travel programs for the area’s youth. Just as professional leagues have currently suspended play, the pandemic is also affecting the area’s youth soccer programs.
DMV United includes the Washington DC region including Maryland and Virginia.
DMV UNITED formed to provide organizations with a way to share ideas, resources, and best practices in these unprecedented times.
“The DMV UNITED initiative has brought together organizations across the beltway region to join in sharing best practices for supporting player development remotely and keeping them active at home,” said Thomas Park, executive director of Alexandria Soccer Association. “By sharing these best practices, along with club management tactics, the DMV United team stands ready to deliver impactful programming the moment it is safe for our community to return to play.”
As we continue to deal with the evolving health crisis caused by the COVID19 pandemic, the clubs who have joined DMV UNITED are placing the highest priority on the health and safety of players, coaches, and staff. Collectively we believe that we need to plan for the future, and the steps taken now will allow us to survive this crisis and come out better on the other side when we can return to play. DMV UNITED acknowledges that there are still many unknowns, but we plan to help the DMV soccer community return to normal life as soon as possible. “I believe that a unified effort with clubs in the DMV will allow us to continue to provide some of the best recreational and travel programs in the country,” said Craig Blackburn, executive director of the Soccer Association of Columbia.
DMV UNITED has established a set of principles that are guiding our working group moving forward:
• We share the responsibility to pause programming until health departments advise that structured play is safe for all
• We share thoughts for all those affected by the virus with a commitment to supporting community members in need
• We share our commitment to supporting player development with remote training resources and individual guidance
• We commit to working as a UNITED soccer community to deliver the highest quality and most impactful programming ever, once we are able to resume structured activity.
• We will support one another as we navigate organizational challenges and will not leverage hardships incurred by clubs during the COVID-19 crisis
The member clubs of DMV UNITED recognize that each club’s situation is different during this period. While we are competitive on the field, the DMV UNITED community has pledged to be supportive off the field. DMV UNITED recognizes that the survival of all clubs in the DMV area is vital to a healthy and strong soccer community moving forward. “We are fortunate in the DMV to be surrounded by high-quality youth soccer clubs who value cooperation and cohesion as much as competition. This collegial spirit is critical to club administrators and coaches — now more than ever — as we all work to support our families and keep players engaged with the game,” stated Jennifer Gootman, executive director of DC Stoddert Soccer.
The DMV UNITED group will continue to work together to provide resources to our membership throughout this crisis. We will continue to work together to ensure that our soccer community has strong clubs and leagues to return to once we can return to the field of play.
For more information please go to www.DMVUnited.org.