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Eagles launch new affiliate youth program

The program aims to help youth on and off the pitch

A lot of things can be said about the Save The Crew movement and what it means to the landscape of professional sports. It was innovative, thought-provoking and, because of the support of the people behind it, always remained relevant to a worldwide audience.

Save The Crew did a masterful job of conveying a positive message and helped rebuild a sense of community for Columbus Crew SC. It also made sure the club remains in Columbus for years to come.

The Columbus Eagles, one of the movement’s biggest allies, looks to reinforce an already strong soccer community within Central Ohio. Earlier this week, the club announced the creation of its Youth Club Affiliate Program. The aim of the program is to support and provide resources for local youth teams and connect them back to the Eagles. It is the goal of the club to empower both boys and girls as they grow as young people and soccer players.

The program is now live and open to any club, regardless of size or location. Affiliates enrolled within the program get access to a club-organized camp, discounted gear and ticket and merchandise discounts. Players within the program may also receive mentorship opportunities from Eagles players like captain Amber Kern, Ashley Gogolin, or Kelly DeNiro.

Not only is DeNiro an attacking midfielder for the club, but also serves as the special projects manager for the club. This initiative has DeNiro and the club excited for what’s to come.

“As players, we love seeing all the youth teams come to our games and become a part of our Eagles family,” said DeNiro in a press release. “They remind us why we play and why we want to continue growing this sport. Our youth affiliate program will give us the opportunity to support young soccer players more than we ever have been able to before, and we’re really excited to get it started.”

Club management shares DeNiro’s excitement about community engagement.

“This is a massive step forward for us as a club,” said Eagles COO Grant Burkhardt. “Not only does it help fulfill our community mission, but the affiliates program will allow us to reach out to local youth organizations, clubs, and teams that don’t normally receive much attention. We’re all very excited about the possibility to share our resources with our community.”