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YMCA and Wilmington Hammerheads Partner to Create The Largest Recreational Youth Soccer Program in Southeastern NC

By cp, 05/02/19, 10:15AM EDT

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WILMINGTON, NC 5/1/2019 – The YMCA of Southeastern NC and the Wilmington Hammerheads have partnered to serve even more kids and families through recreational soccer. This new partnership brings together two of the largest youth soccer providers in the region. Both organizations currently serve more than 2,000 youth athletes annually ranging from ages 3 to 18 years.

Beginning fall 2019, the YMCA will operate all of the recreational soccer programming while the Wilmington Hammerheads focus on their classic programming. Together, the two organizations will provide a clear pathway for all youth soccer players of all ages and all levels that begins at the YMCA recreational level and continues through the Wilmington Hammerheads Classic Program, which is designed for those players who want to continue their soccer beyond play above the recreational level. The two organizations will work together in providing coaching education, player clinics, volunteers and parent education.

“This partnership will put us into a position to provide the best recreational experience for youth soccer players in the areas we serve,” explains Lee Spooner, Athletics Director for the YMCA of Southeastern NC. “Merging our recreational soccer programs will allow each of our organizations to focus on what we do best. This enables us to offer more choices for practices and games.”

"I am really excited about this partnership and what it does for soccer in our community,” says Carson Porter, Executive Director for the Wilmington Hammerheads FC. “ Recreational soccer is about introducing the sport to the children of our community, having a lot of fun, and hoping that we can ignite a lifelong love and passion for the game - and doing all of this in a convenient and organized way that helps families. Merging our recreational programs and working together to achieve these goals will give players and families a better experience – both on the field and off of it. We want even more players to have a great recreational experience, develop a passion for the sport, and want to continue beyond the recreational level, and when that happens our club is excited and ready to help them move on and advance in the game.”

The partnership between the YMCA and Wilmington Hammerheads will allow for more teams in each age group and more locations for games and practices, making it more convenient for kids, families and volunteer coaches.

As part of the partnership, Wilmington Hammerheads staff member John Adams will be joining the YMCA staff as the Director of Soccer. John has spent 6 years with the Hammerheads, devoting much of his time to the club’s recreational program.