The UKSD Academy is a female youth development program that revolves around 4 core values: Character, Community, Competition, and Continuity.
It has been designed to give female soccer players a different type of option, while allowing them to play the game that they love. Our soccer training methods are focused on building well rounded individual soccer players: technically, tactically, physically, and mentally. Through the game of soccer, we also focus on helping girls discover and cultivate leadership skills, inner and outer strength, and to assist them in creating attainable goals as both athletes and young women.
It is our belief that by participating in the UKSD Academy, our players will develop life skills beyond just the game itself. It is our mission to enable our participants to become strong peer leaders, to develop an awareness of community mindedness, and to be active in creating change. Although our academy program focuses on individual player growth in both a technical and tactical sense, we have partnered with the Coaches Across Continents ASK for choice program and have narrowed down the heart of our mission which is female empowerment through sport.
Our academy consists of young women ranging from 12 years of age to 18 years of age. These girls work collectively to explore subjects such as leadership skills, self advocacy, goal setting, self accountability, and having a community mindset. Their training sessions are a carefully crafted mixture of soccer specific training and life skills training
We believe that character is the most crucial aspect to any young person’s success. It is our goal to help our academy participants learn from specified lessons, the game itself, from working within their communities, and from one another. Through mixing young women of different ages, socio-economic statuses, and backgrounds, they are each able to positively impact one another. However, we haven’t stopped there.
We have also created a virtual classroom where current academy players are able to interact with alumni players, UKSD members in Dominica and Kenya, and other female players and coaches who share in the desire to education and inspire. We want these girls to foster a desire to surround themselves with people who have common goals, desires, and a belief that the education of women is one of most important things we can do. Creating a network of people who are all working towards similar goals breeds positivity, commitment, and a collective strength.
In addition to personal growth, we also use the academy to promote female connections. A trend we have seen in many communities we work with is a lack of female access to both athletics and education. We are working with our partners throughout the world to promote and build female centered programs, developed around women’s empowerment, the pursuit of education, and physical wellness through sport. We have begun video conferencing and correspondence between our academy players and these international groups, in order to unite young women and allow them to see the potential and capabilities which they possess.