05/01/2012 2:43 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. –
The Rochester Rhinos have partnered with the Rochester City School District to create an opportunity for students to experience a Rochester Rhinos professional soccer game at Sahlen’s Stadium on Tuesday, May 8th at 10AM.
The Rochester City School District will be providing transportation to 10,000 students grades K through 8 to Sahlen’s Stadium at 9AM. The Rochester Rhino will kick off against FC Buffalo at 10AM. At halftime the Rochester Police Department, the Rochester Fire Department, and the City of Rochester Recreation Department will be collaborating with the Rhinos to produce an educational program on being active, eating healthy, and staying safe. After the match a gift bags will be distributed to all of the students and teachers in attendance. Some gift bags will have a tooth brush, tooth paste, and floss while another set of gift bags will be sponsored by Bimbo Bakeries USA, a trusted brand names in fresh baked foods. The Rochester City School District will also be distributing a box lunch to all students which will be provided to them through collaboration between the Rochester Rhinos, Foodlink and Sahlen Premium Quality Meat Products.
“We looked at different programs and ways to be involved in our community and a partnership between the Rhinos organization and Rochester City School District was one high on our priority list, said David Cieslinski, Vice President. The end result of our cooperation will be a memorable event for 10,000 students in the City of Rochester at Sahlen’s Stadium.”
The Rochester Rhinos School Day match on May 8th is the signature program of a grassroots effort to get more involved in youth soccer and the community in 2012. This season the Rhinos launched their Pro Pass program for free for the first time. Pro Pass is a free youth season ticket for youth soccer players in the greater Rochester area. Every team in RDYSL received free Pro Passes for their players with their team packets at the RDYSL Coaches Meeting in March. RDYSL youth soccer coaches are currently in the process of distributing passes to their players for the 2012 season. The Rhinos have also reached out to Rochester area recreational soccer programs and Rochester area premier soccer teams to participate in the free youth ticket program. The program’s title sponsors are Bill Gray’s, New York State West Youth Soccer Association and the Rochester District Youth Soccer Association.
“These are exciting times for us; we’ve made the commitment to go back to our roots said Pat Ercoli, President and COO. We felt we needed to be more involved with the development of our area youth and wanted to give back in a big way by allowing free admission to all our games, giving them the opportunity to share their dreams and hopes with their favorite players.”
The Rochester Rhinos also launched a youth soccer academy called Rhinos Elite last fall and currently has a U11 boys and girls program. Next year the club plans to expand to have a minimum of six teams. The goal of the Rhinos Elite program is to educate and develop youth soccer players in a professional environment on the field, while having a positive impact on the community at the grass roots level off the field. The program also aims to be the most cost effective program in western New York.
“I directed the youth program in Richmond for fifteen years before I came to Rochester.” Rhinos head coach Jesse Myers said. “What I’ve learned about Rochester is that there are a lot of clubs who have a proud tradition and have been here for a long time. We want to try to share the resources we have as a professional club with the community. We want to develop better players and stronger local clubs. We’ve started out this year with two youth teams and a partnership with the Spencerport Soccer Club that has worked out quite well. Going forward we would like to work with more partners in the community and grow our program through cooperation.”