Durango Youth Soccer Association is the sports home of many local youths, from ages eight through high school seniors. The soccer club is a place for kids to learn how to be a team player, on and off the field, learn essential leadership skills, engage with the community, and above all else, learn to love the game. By Hannah Robertson. his story is sponsored by Alpine Bank
Hi, I'm Eric Eicher, president and employee owner of Alpine Bank Durango. Alpine Bank is only as strong as its community, and giving back to the community is one of our core values. I'm proud to present Alpine Bank's "Community Matters" program, highlighting local nonprofit organizations.
Durango Youth Soccer Association is a soccer club here in Durango, Colorado. We service not only local kids, but the surrounding areas as well. We provide soccer for children ages eight through 19, basically, second grade through seniors in high school. Currently, we have 22 teams, and our teams play in leagues in Farmington and also down in Bernalillo, New Mexico.
Founded in 1993, the organization is celebrating its 30th year this year and is gearing up for the 28th Annual Durango Shootout, an annual tournament hosted in Durango.
Coming up here quickly is our Durango Shootout Soccer Tournament, and we're in the 28th year of that event, and that's on Mother's Day weekend. We usually bring in about 140 teams to town, so it's a really big weekend for our community. The participants stay in our local area hotels, they eat out at our restaurants, and shop at our stores, and it's just a really fun weekend.
For Kelly and the coaches, soccer isn't just about playing outside and having fun, a core mission of DYSA is to teach kids about the importance of teamwork, encourage leadership, commitment, and a strong work ethic so they can be positive players both on and off the field.
It's part of our culture, it even starts right from the beginning. We have the teams set down and they do goal sheets. They do individual goal sheets, but they also do a sheet where they ask each other what it means to be a good teammate. And you hear a lot of qualities and things that what these kids appreciate, and how they appreciate being treated, and how they want to treat others. So talking about those different values, we call 'em Team Value Sheets, I think that sets the foundation for the beginning of the season. And then, the coaches revisit those values through everything they're doing at practices and in games to kind of reestablish those ideas.
In 2018, DYSA partnered with Rio Rapids Soccer Club, based out of New Mexico, as an affiliate partner in part to help provide a player pathway for high achieving players to compete with competitive teams. Rio Rapids come to Durango throughout each soccer season, providing coaching, education sessions, and other information resources for players, coaches, and families. The partnership enables players in Durango to continue to grow their skills as players and fosters the community of growth DYSA provides.
I think, being that we're in our 30th year and we've been able to sustain through a lot of different trials and tribulations, you know, economic pitfalls and pandemics, it's just a testament to the quality of a product that the club provides. We have really good people who work with the children, our coaches.
DYSA is always looking for volunteers for the shootout held annually on Mother's Day weekend, May 12th through 14th. Find information on their website for where volunteers are needed, or to sign up your child to participate. Thank you for watching this edition of "Community Matters." I'm Connor Shreve.