Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY

Rens van Oostende

Dutch Football Academy CT

Barkhamste, Connecticut

“For me, teaching children how to excel not only in soccer, but in life is the motivating force behind my mission. Being able to help young people transform into positive, productive, healthy, and efficient people who will one day give back to their communities is rewarding on a personal level, but also important for society.” – Rens van Oostende

It’s well-known that sports are a great way to get your kids to go outside and be physically active. But sign your kid up for Dutch Football Academy CT, and you’ll be investing in more than their physical fitness: they’ll be trained to develop the skills they need to achieve success, both on the soccer pitch and off.

That’s the vision that drives Rens van Oostende, who founded DFACT in 2014, as he trains Farmington Valley’s young emerging athletes to compete at the highest level. Ascendus is proud to support Rens’ business in partnership with The Hartford, which supports small business owners making a positive impact in their communities.

Originally hailing from The Netherlands where soccer reigns supreme as the top sport Rens cherishes the opportunity to live his dream of sharing his passion for soccer with American children, and imparting the life lessons that soccer teaches to his students is his favorite part. DFACT’s foundational principles are captured in the acronym D.U.T.C.H.: discipline, unity, technique, and conditioning. The H stands for hardcore and demands that players give 110% of themselves to every task they set their minds and bodies to. Rens maintains that lessons learned by adhering to these principles and meeting the challenges posed by the the beautiful game have the power to transform young people into committed impactful members of their communities.

But his impact on his community is not only an investment in the future. Today, all of Rens’ employees are coaches and physical education teachers at the local high schools. DFA CT also offers internship opportunities for local high school students to continue their education with Rens and get experience coaching DFACT’s younger learners. In doing so, Rens enjoys the opportunity to mold his older students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Rens received a $7,000 loan from Ascendus in 2017, which he used to hire staff and buy additional equipment. These investments will serve him come fall when he anticipates expanding the size and reach of Dutch Football Academy CT. Given the impact he’s already had in just three years, it’ll be all hands on deck.

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