Editor’s Note: Every quarter, US Club Soccer announces the most recent class of Players First-licensed clubs. In the weeks to follow, the newest clubs will be highlighted with Q&As from their directors.
Q: Why did Tonka United first apply for Players First licensing?
Bobbi Hoebelheinrich, Executive Director: Tonka United's vision to provide the best youth sports experience for players, families and coaches of all age groups and skill levels. We hold ourselves to a standard of developing the youth of our communities through soccer by encouraging personal development and enabling healthier lives. Like Players First, we aspire to help each player reach their potential so it was a natural fit for Tonka United to apply for Players First licensing as a clear and ongoing commitment to meet our goals.
Q: What does it mean for Tonka United to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Hoebelheinrich: It's a testament to the work and commitment the Tonka United community of coaches, parents and staff have put in to build a soccer club that puts the development of our kids as players, individuals and teammates first. Tonka United will use the Players First framework as a way to continue to grow in our mission to develop the youth of our communities through soccer, encourage personal development and enable healthier lives. We want to create a new standard for youth soccer clubs in our area.
Q: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Hoebelheinrich: Players First's purpose is to create great people, where reaching one's potential is not about a "win at all costs" mentality. Achieving and maintaining a Players First license keeps that purpose front and center in everything we do at Tonka United. We are dedicated to creating an outstanding, holistic and fun soccer experience for our players.
Q: What would you like the parents of Tonka United to know about what this means to them?
Hoebelheinrich: Tonka United families should feel great pride and assurance that Tonka United's coaches, staff and programming are centered on creating the best holistic soccer experience for their children with the purpose of helping their personal potential in a fun, competitive and engaging environment.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.