Written by Guest Columnist Mercedes Fraistat
Making A Difference On and Off the Pitch
New Jersey Youth Soccer and SoccerToday celebrate those who make a difference on and off the pitch and chose to help others. Here is a spotlight on Alessandra Haddock.
Thirteen years later after first stepping on the pitch, Alessandra Haddock, found herself, yet again, involved with soccer.
A resident of Randolph Township, NJ and longtime NJYS player, Haddock recounts her summer experience working with New Jersey Youth Soccer as one that she will always remember.
In 2006, Haddock became a player for the U8 Randolph Soccer Club Comets team.
“My 10 years with Randolph Soccer Club brought me life-long friends, a level of growth in who I am as a person and the passion for working with children.”
Haddock played for Randolph High School’s historically decorated Varsity team, but fell to injury after two seasons with the Rams.
Despite this, she remained involved with soccer, as a coach and referee level. Haddock attended coaching courses initiated by NJYS and has coached with Pure Soccer, Randolph Township, and Kiddie Soccer.
During 2011, Haddock began working with her high school coach, Colleen Suflay, at the Future Rams Soccer Clinic.
“I owe everything to Coach Suflay. She helped me find my place in the soccer world and a future career in teaching.Alessandra Haddock
“She pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone and go after opportunities in life,” said Haddock, “whether that be in relation to sports or life in general.”
By working with at the Future Rams clinic, she grew an interest in working with children that led her to pursue a career in teaching. Now a Junior at The College of New Jersey studying Psychology and Elementary/Special Education, Haddock and is on track to graduate this spring, one year earlier than the rest of her class.
This past summer, Haddock participated in an internship with New Jersey Youth Soccer where she worked on day to day administrative tasks, at the state office in East Windsor.
“My summer experience with NJYS helped me understand soccer from an administrative perspective. There are so many things that happen behind the scenes that make you appreciate the game even more,” Haddock said.
“The NJ Youth Soccer staff gave me the opportunity to show initiative and flourish in the workplace. I was able to apply my experience as a player and provide valuable feedback.”Alessandra Haddock
“This was a new role created to address the spike in administrative activity that occurs during the summer event and registration period,” said Evan Dabby, NJYS Executive Director. “We thought it would be a perfect role for a student with a love for and experience in soccer to gain professional experience. Ally’s enthusiasm and talent combined with her soccer experience to make this new endeavor truly successful and one that we hope to continue in future summers.”
13 years after first stepping on pitch, Alessandra Haddock found herself, yet again, involved with soccer. A longtime NJYS player, Haddock recounts her summer experience working with NJ Youth Soccer as one she will always remember.— NJ Youth Soccer (@NJYouthSoccer) September 30, 2019
✍️ Mercedes Fraistat pic.twitter.com/2KUtAC4IIz
Now, Haddock aims to start a US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Program in Randolph.
Haddock is currently working at the College and Career Studies at TCNJ on a certificate program, for young adults with cognitive learning disabilities.