Having fun at the anniversary event
On August 27, the day of San Ramon FC's 50 Year Anniversary Celebration began much like the club did many years ago: With dedicated people working together to make something special happen.
Volunteers and staff arrived bright and early Sunday morning to set up the tables, tents, balloon arches, and more. The large scale event took more than a year of planning and organizing by club staff. On the day of the event, it took a coordinated effort by a large team of volunteers, staff members, board members, and coaches to deliver a fun day of celebration. The event proved to be a resounding success; just like the founding of the San Ramon Soccer Club back in 1973.
SRFC Staff Members Shaun Collins and Dragan Hinic Lead The Parade
Parade of Teams Kicks Off The Event (photos below)
The parade started the event at 10 am with youth teams walking on the grass fields of Athan Downs Park, one of the earliest parks in the history of the city. In the warm summer sunshine under bright blue skies, the parade participants carried team banners and displayed homemade signs. Players from the club’s flagship programs, the Junior Academy, Recreational, and Competitive Programs, wore their San Ramon FC uniforms. Parents could be seen proudly wearing their SRFC spirit wear.
Athan Downs Park has hosted youth soccer games for decades. The park’s fields are used today by San Ramon FC’s Recreational soccer program and also for several annual soccer tournaments hosted by the club. The park’s connection to the club’s past and present, along with its convenient amenities (not to mention shady trees), made it an easy choice to host the celebration.
The parade route concluded in front of the speaker’s tent, where honored guests and club leaders spent a few minutes speaking to the crowd about the club’s past, present, and future.
SRFC Executive Director Zlatko Tomic with Councilman Sridhar Verose
Speeches, A Proclamation, and A Stirring Anthem Performance (photos below)
Current SRFC board president Tim Coats spoke about the club’s modest beginning and its journey through the years. “Journeys are not straight lines. They have ups, downs, and crevices,” Coats told the assembled crowd.
In 1973, the club’s journey began with one single team and the name San Ramon Soccer Club. Fast forward 50 years and San Ramon FC is now the largest youth sports organization in the city with dozens of youth teams, including semi-professional men’s and women’s teams. Learn more about the Men’s NPSL and Women’s WPSL programs.
Rachel Hurd, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Governing Board President, was the first honored guest to speak. She congratulated the club on its 50 year anniversary milestone. She spoke fondly of youth soccer and shared the fact that she was a volunteer coach at San Ramon Soccer Club years ago when her daughter played for the club. “It’s been so fabulous to watch how this club has grown,” Ms. Hurd said.
She also eloquently spoke about the importance of youth sports and community building - for the parents, not just the players. Youth sports, in this case soccer, serve as a valuable ice breaker and a means for adults to connect with peers. “I think youth sports is a great way for our parents to get involved in the community. It’s how we get to know each other beyond the school and beyond the neighborhood,” Ms. Hurd explained.
Councilman Sridhar Verose was the next honored guest to address the crowd. He attended the event on behalf of the San Ramon city council to read a formal proclamation from the city. The official proclamation acknowledged and celebrated the 50 year anniversary of San Ramon FC. Zlatko Tomic, San Ramon FC’s Executive Director, followed Councilman Verose. He thanked the members of the SRFC community for attending the celebration and for making the club such a remarkable and special organization.
Vocalist Jaclyn McQuiston concluded the short ceremony by performing a stirring rendition of the national anthem. In addition to being a vocalist, Ms. McQuiston is an SRFC alumna, a current SRFC coach, and an elementary school teacher in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. At the end of the song, she was rushed by a number of children from the crowd and buried in an avalanche of hugs from her youth players. Click here to watch the video of her performance.
Inflatable dart board courtesy of Bouncy Bounce Party Rentals
Fun And Games And Activities (photos below)
At the 50 year celebration event, there were smiles aplenty and many activities to enjoy. The event featured carnival games under red and white striped tents and a giant, inflatable soccer dart board, the latter provided courtesy of Bouncy Bounce - Bounce House and Party Rentals. Both the carnival games and the inflatable velcro dart board were popular activities all day long.
The delightful photo booth, courtesy of Memory Makers, featured imaginative costumes and props that brought laughs and smiles to children and adults; not to mention wonderful photos to preserve the memories. The cakewalk activity satisfied those with a sweet tooth. Cakewalk winners got their choice of baked treats made by Toadily Baked Desserts. The free face painting and henna tattooing, staffed by creative volunteers, created works of art that could be enjoyed long after the event concluded.
Music And Food And Summer Sun
The music and emcee duties for the event were handled with effortless expertise by Enriquez Events, which provided both a fun atmosphere and timely information for those in attendance. The food trucks were a big hit, keeping attendees fed and hydrated. The summer weather, always an X factor in August, provided plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and a hot (but not too hot) temperature. The shady trees of Athan Downs gave people a chance to cool off when they needed a break too.
Beach soccer activities on the sand volleyball court
Beach Soccer, Dizzy Penalty Kicks, And More (photos below)
Fun soccer themed activities were enjoyed throughout the day, which included juggling contests, dizzy penalty kicks, and small sided games. The beach soccer free play session on the park’s sand volleyball court proved to be a popular activity too. The activity was led by members of the Cali Beach Soccer Club, including SRFC Coach Vanessa Amaral (who is the goalkeeper for the Cali Beach Club). The beach soccer fun saw kids in socks, shoes, and bare feet playing on the sand.
Coaches vs Parents Soccer Match
Coaches vs Parents Soccer Match (photos below)
A much anticipated Coaches-vs-Parents soccer match drew a large crowd of spectators in the afternoon. The good natured game featured plenty of soccer skills and back and forth play. At the final whistle, when all was said and done, SRFC coaches found the net a few more times than the SRFC parents.
The club also organized a fundraiser raffle and drew the winning tickets before the conclusion of the 50 Year Anniversary Celebration. With dozens of great prizes donated to the raffle, SRFC was able to raise thousands of dollars in ticket sales to benefit its financial aid program. The money will help future youth players participate in the club’s core recreational and competitive programs in the years ahead.
San Ramon FC 50 Year Anniversary Logo
50 Years And Counting
The club welcomed surprise guests to the event. The York family, Dave and Mike, stopped by to share memorabilia, photos, and stories from their early days in the club. Dave York was one of the first board presidents in the 1970s and his son Mike played for San Ramon Soccer Club before continuing his soccer career playing at Sonoma State.
All in all, this milestone event brought people together and created fun memories for club families and the San Ramon community. It reminded everyone that San Ramon has a thriving community of people united by a love for youth soccer and the special role it can play in a child’s development.
Executive Director Zlatko Tomic summed it up well: “In this club, in this organization, we absolutely have amazing people with us. When you have great people, then you have a great organization and that’s what we’re proud of.”
The celebration had SRFC Board President Tim Coats looking to the club’s future with an optimistic eye: “I am proud of the [club’s] journey. I am thankful for the support of our members in our community. I don’t know what the next 50 years will hold for us, but I am excited about what I’ve seen so far.”
Happy anniversary, San Ramon FC. May the years ahead be a journey full of new milestones and memorable moments. May future generations of youth soccer players continue to grow, develop, and thrive. And may everyone involved continue to have fun playing, coaching, and supporting the beautiful game of soccer.
A Special Thank You To The Vendors & Raffle Prize Donors
The club is thankful for the terrific support and participation from vendors at the event. Thank you to Soccer Pro, Fremont Bank, The San Jose Earthquakes, COPA Soccer Training Center, Toadily Baked Desserts, Custom Jino Custom Clothing Design, KidTopia Party And Event Center, and East Bay Referee Association for attending the event and sharing your products and services with the event attendees.
Thank you to Enriquez Events for providing music, DJ and emcee services for the event.
Thank you to Memory Makers for the photo booth. Thank you Bouncy Bounce - Bounce House and Party Rentals for the giant inflatable velcro soccer dart board.
Thank you to the food truck vendors: Cousins Maine Lobster, Boss Mom Wife Snacks, Mr. Softee, and Maoli Shave Ice.
Thank you to all of the donors to the club's prize raffle fundraiser. There were more than 3 dozen prizes to award. A special thank you to Alamo Ace Hardware for donating the grand prize for the raffle: an $800 Traeger Outdoor Grill.
Click here for a complete list of prizes and donors, along with the prize winners.
Below are several collections of photos from the San Ramon FC 50 Year Anniversary Event.