…the Soccer-playing Public in Oklahoma Under One Banner
Team sports provide youth with an outlet to work off extra energy, learn teamwork and focus on a common goal. While there are many sports programs available, Energy FC provides youth a way to engage in team sports and meet some of their sports heroes. Through various community programs, Energy FC reaches out to young athletes with disabilities, raises money to restore Oklahoma City schools’ athletics fields, provides the soccer community with coaching and support, and participates in many other community undertakings.
Here, I speak with Josh Evans, vice president of communications, Energy FC, about their involvement in the community and how members of the community can get involved.
Can you provide some background information on your organization?
Energy FC is a men’s professional soccer team. We play in the United Soccer League, the largest Division II soccer league in the world, with 30 teams across North America.
What is your mission?
To be good stewards in the community. Whether operating our soccer matches or working with our Sidekicks program or Fields & Futures, we strive to make the community a better place than we found it.
Could you provide a brief description of some of the programs you offer?
Our biggest community endeavor is our Sidekicks program. The Sidekicks program teams our players with members of the communities of Special Olympics Oklahoma, Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma, U.S. Youth Soccer’s TOPSoccer program and Autism Oklahoma. They meet at different events throughout the season. Through the Energy FC Sidekicks, presented by Gulfport Energy, each Energy FC player is paired with a young athlete with disabilities for several events over the course of the season, bringing the athletes, families and players together to create lasting memories and friendships. It is one of the most rewarding programs for our players and staff.
Do you partner with any other organizations in the community?
Yes. We partner with organizations such as the Police Athletic League (PAL), Fields & Futures, and Cleats 4 Kids. With Fields & Futures, $2 of every ticket sold goes to benefit the Fields & Futures foundation, whose mission is to re-develop all 44 athletics fields of Oklahoma City Public Schools.
What are some of the ways your players get involved in the community?
The main way for our players to be involved with the community is through the Sidekicks program. In addition to other community functions orchestrated by the team, Energy FC players are active in various youth soccer programs across the city as coaches or instructors.
How can different groups get in touch with you about player involvement?
Several ways. Through our social media channels on Twitter @EnergyFC, Facebook @EnergyFC or our website, EnergyFc.com
What kind of donations do you offer for community events?
Primarily with time and energy (pardon the pun). Through Fields & Futures, our fans, players and coaches have donated over $600,000 in time, money and services. The Sidekicks program has allowed our players to serve as mentors for over 60 kids with developmental challenges.
What else would you like readers to know about your organization?
Our organization recently formed a partnership with several youth soccer clubs across the state. The Oklahoma Energy FC combines teams from Oklahoma Football Club, Tulsa Blitz United and Canadian Valley Football Club to play under one banner. The ultimate goal for Energy FC is to unite the soccer playing public in Oklahoma under one banner.