The ECNL Fuels Growing Fire in Elite Female Athletes as it Kicks off the 2015-16 Season
RICHMOND, VA (November 10, 2016) – In anticipation of the first Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), National Event of the 2015-16 season this weekend in Phoenix, AZ, the nation’s premier female youth soccer league officially kicks off the #FuelYourFire campaign today. Fresh from the 2015 Women’s World Cup, with the 2016 Olympics around the corner, the 2015-16 season is anticipated to be among the most exciting in the history of the ECNL and women’s soccer in the U.S.
The ECNL #FuelYourFire campaign is a series of tools and resources that will be introduced throughout the season to support the burning ambition of today’s youth female athletes. Using images, videos, song and style, #FuelYourFire will pulse dynamic digital, social and on-field messaging and programming to address the challenges players face through the 2015-16 ECNL season, including the first ECNL Anthem – Fire by Abby Ward. Importantly, #FuelYourFire resources were developed by female athletes for female athletes, with contributions from professional soccer greats Yael Averbuch and Shea Groom. All players can access the #FuelYourFire offerings at AmazingYoungWomen.com.
“There’s an unmatched fire that has emerged in today’s youth female athletes – they are seeing the success of the athletes who came before them and believe in themselves like never before. We want to see them harness this confidence to drive them on the field and throughout their lives,” said Jen Woodie, Interim Commissioner, ECNL.
After only six years of ECNL graduates, ECNL alumni are now creating an unprecedented impact on collegiate soccer, and these players are just beginning to hit the national and international stage. With each new alumni success, a new fire is ignited in today’s ECNL player, giving them even greater belief in what they can accomplish. To support the power of player-to-player motivation and the importance of role modeling and community in achievement, #FuelYourFire includes the opportunity to become an Amazing Young Women Passback Ambassador, a way for players of all ages to create local equipment drives and enhance their leadership skills by recognizing and supporting the needs of others.
“As a steady wave of ECNL players is entering college soccer and beyond, they are being followed by a fierce, competitive surge of elite female athletes who recognize that they can do more and can define their own opportunities,” said Woodie. “As women’s soccer reaches new heights in the U.S., it will be these players who will continue to drive change. They are claiming their sport, changing it, and raising expectations for all female athletes. Our programming is designed to meet the unique needs of this generation of players.”
The high school years present choices and challenges that can be opportunities to lay the foundation for success on and off the field. #FuelYourFire is created to represent the voice of the elite youth female athlete and ignite her fire to overcome the challenges faced in becoming a leader. #FuelYourFire provides young women with the tools to harness opportunity – on and off the field – and nurture her personal drive to be the best she can be in all aspects of her life. #FuelYourFire is a dynamic campaign of digital, social and on-field activations expanding the Amazing Young Woman offerings in order to showcase and celebrate female role models, and offer an aspirational focus for all female athletes and teens as they prepare to be our next generation of leaders. Activity highlights include:
- FIRE, available on iTunes. A song written and produced for the ECNL by 14-year old Abby Ward, it tells the story of Fuel your Fire to unify Amazing Young Women.
- #FuelYourFire limited edition NIKE retail line launched this season at ECNL National Events and www.shopayw.com to capture the pulse and drive of today’s players.
- #FuelYourFire monthly online training challenges featuring NWSL professionals Yael Averbuch and Shea Groom.
- Stoppage Time with Shea Groom, a weekly blog capturing behind the scenes details of what it’s like to be a professional female athlete today.
- Fuel Your Fire with Yael Averbuch, lessons from a professional to motivate youth players to stay driven and overcome challenges.
- Amazing Young Women Passback Ambassador, resources to support community-based activities to support players by collecting gently used gear to donate to those in need.
- #FuelYourFire Skills Challenges, with Yael Averbuch and Shea Groom at ECNL events.
- The ZONE health and wellbeing center onsite.
- Compilation Team Competitions, offering multi-age/level based competitions giving players increased opportunity to share their motivations.
“With the excitement of the World Cup continuing to build into the 2016 Olympics, we are living through an amazing time for youth female athletes who are seeing that their potential is only defined by themselves. They can dream bigger and dare greater. Their fire has never burned hotter. We want to embrace this emotion and passion to support these players as they rise to new heights,” added Woodie.
About Elite Clubs National League
The Elite Clubs National League, Inc. (“ECNL”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member-based organization founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of the female youth soccer players in the United States through (i) Improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league; (ii) Improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players for the U.S. Soccer youth national teams through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs. The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer.