A $10,000 grant from Pioneer’s Driven to Play program has been described as a “fantastic shot in the arm” for the youth soccer program at Mount Hamilton Youth Soccer Club.

“These funds were a key support for our Elite player development program, which provides 150 young players with 32 one-and-a-half-hour training sessions with provincial level coaching,” says Leo Cavalluzzo, VP, Player Development and Operations for the Mount Hamilton club.

The participants in the Elite program come from the under 13 and under 11 age groups, athletes who are hand-picked for high-level training provided each year from November to mid-March.

“These are kids who have been identified as having the potential to move up in the talent pool across the province, with the ultimate goal of making it to Toronto FC. Without the Pioneer funding we may have had to consider reducing the number of players who would receive free training, so we are very grateful for the partnership of a supportive local company like Pioneer.”

The Pioneer Driven to Play Program, now in its second year, was launched in 2013 as part of Pioneer’s partnership with Toronto FC, Ontario’s only professional soccer club.

Under the program, specially branded Bonus Bucks are issued to thousands of soccer parents. Every time they use the card, they help qualify their local club for a chance to win the $10,000 prize.

Mount Hamilton was the Grand Prize winner in the 2013 program, and a cheque was presented to the club in a ceremony at the Player’s Paradise Training Centre in Stoney Creek last Fall.

The program also provides an opportunity for a “dream” training day with Toronto FC coaching at the club’s KIA TFC Training Ground in Downsview Park, a $21-million, state-of-the-art facility modelled after traditional European football academies.

The 40,000-square-foot facility includes four natural and artificial soccer fields.

Marco D’Arcangelo, Player Development Director at Mount Hamilton, says the KIA training day was memorable for the 20 players who were selected to attend on March 16.

“This was a tremendous experience for our young players to get hands-on training with the professionals at TFC,” notes Marco. “They covered everything from cognitive thinking to diet and nutrition and finished up with on-field drills. The young athletes were pretty excited to be there. I’m sure it’s something they will never forget.”

Leo said the club selected both both and girls of various talent levels for the day so ensure the experience was open to all.

For more information about this event, please contact:

Cheryl Stubbs, Marketing Manager, Pioneer Energy
Telephone: 905-633-3405