ERISTARS SPORTS CLUB
The EriStars sport club offers Eritrean-American children and youth a year-round opportunity to enjoy the sport of soccer while strengthening ties to their cultural heritage. We foster an environment that sharpens their athletic skills and encourages teamwork and sportsmanship rather than winning. We also promote academic achievement through our educational program. We encourage the importance of voluntarism and help our high school players earn credits through our SSL opportunities we offer.
EriStars sport club was founded in 2011 in Maryland. In 2015, it was established as a legal nonprofit organization as Eritrean American Youth Sports Association of Maryland, Inc. (EAYSAM). It is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 tax exempt charity.
We follow the guidelines of the US Soccer Federation (USSF) and the US Youth Soccer Association (USYSA). We also participate in the tournaments organized by Eritrean Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) and maintains relationships with other regional Eritrean/Eritrean-American soccer associations and local leagues.
We coordinate numerous soccer practices and tournaments throughout the year. Our younger players follow ‘small-sided’ soccer guidelines, which are more recreational in nature as opposed to the more competitive spirit of the older league. They participate in the PGSI league in Hyattsville. Our older players participate in the AAYSA league. During the summer months, we participate in the Eritrean Festival tournament, and during the winter we practice on indoor soccer fields.
Our coaches are talented and deeply committed to our mission, and our parents are very much involved in our club’s success.
We take special pride in our ‘Path to College’ program, which includes two workshops per year to help our junior and senior high school players prepare for college applications and admissions.
Looking forward, this coming fall 2017, we will be offering a volunteer SSL (Student Service Learning) opportunities for high school students attending Montgomery County and Prince George’s County public schools. This program is designed to encourage our young players to earn volunteer credits, hence to encourage voluntarism in our community.
In the future, we plan to offer scholarships for senior high school players based on their civic involvement, their academic success, and a written essay.
We are confident that our organization is designed to make a lasting impression on youth and a set of values that they will carry forward with them in adulthood.