ROCKINGHAM – When it came to trying to develop something new and exciting to do in Richmond County, Chris and Deana Singletary kicked around a couple ideas. But they ultimately settled on starting the Richmond Adult Soccer League (RASL), a recreational sports league for adults that has rapidly grown into a widely-participated in program.
And as the League opens its summer kickball season Monday at the American Legion baseball fields in Hamlet, new scholarships are being established to benefit two Richmond Senior High School soccer players for the 2017-2018 school year.
The Singletarys, both of whom have been a staple in coaching local recreational sports, were born and raised in Richmond County. They created RASL in hopes of being able to give adults in the area a chance to participate in a fun, competitive setting, while also going one step further, and ultimately give back to the community that they’ve always been a part of.
“The reason we started RASL was to give adults the opportunity to exercise,” Chris said. “We want people to be able to socialize, and live. We want them to have fun. It’s not about winning; it’s about being able to come together and give back to the community (through the scholarships).”
RASL, which is a volunteer organization, held its inaugural soccer season in the spring of 2016, and just completed its third season in April. In conjunction with the soccer program, the Singletarys added kickball last summer as an effort to give participants another sport to compete in. This summer, the kickball league has grown to nine teams, and players will compete in a round-robin format, culminating in a single-elimination tournament.
In wanting to give back to the community, which is the primary goal of the program, Chris and Deana, along with their administrative team, decided earlier this year that they wanted to use all funds from RASL to award scholarship money to deserving RSHS students. In May, they handed out two $500 scholarships in RASL’s name to senior soccer players Alex Alvarado and Cassie McFayden.
The scholarships are strictly limited to Richmond soccer players only, as they must have played at least three years to be eligible to even apply. RASL has decided that it will award one male and one female player each year. Those wanting to apply, must write a two-page essay explaining why they’re most deserving, which then the essays are judged and voted on.
It is the hope of RASL that its organization continues to grow so more money can be given out. As there is no set limit for how much each scholarship will be, it is based on the total amount of money raised throughout the year. As the new fiscal year begins, the Singletarys hope to reach new heights as they will have two soccer seasons, plus the kickball league, worth of money to donate.
“We wanted to give back to the soccer community,” Chris said. “And what better way than to give a scholarship to a kid who has dedicated his high school career to playing soccer? We don’t have a set amount (to give away), it’s what’s available. Our goal is to have two $1,500 scholarships.”
All funds raised from team playing fees and concessions will be added to the scholarship account. RASL doesn’t use any of the money for profit, as the end goal is to provide students with financial support in college. Sponsorships are growing, as local businesses are chipping in to aid in fundraising. The kickball league is being sponsored locally by Dunn’s Auto Sales, and Twisted Treats will be on site for all games, donating $1 per sale item to the scholarship fund.
Through friendly competition, it is the hope of the Singletarys that RASL will continue to grow and immerse itself throughout the community.
“This organization brings people together,” Deana said. “It brings kids out, it brings families together. We want people to come out, watch the games, and have fun.”
For more information regarding RASL’s upcoming events, scholarship donations, and sponsorships, contact Chris Singletary at (910) 334-2014.