HOWELL, N.J. – Sky Blue FC announced Thursday that it had renewed its partnership with New Jersey Youth Soccer.

An important element of the relationship will include community outreach and engagement between youth players and the Sky Blue FC players. The two organizations aim to develop resources and entertainment together as the state continues to practice social distancing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very pleased to renew our partnership with Sky Blue FC and to continue our support of the professional women’s game,” NJ Youth Soccer president Evelyn Gill said. “We have great pride in Sky Blue FC being our professional representative here in New Jersey. The players of Sky Blue FC and the National Women’s Soccer League serve as incredible role models, both on and off the field, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them for many years to come.”

NJ Youth Soccer and Sky Blue FC will work together throughout the year to support the overall growth of the game. Planned initiatives include Sky Blue FC player appearances at NJ Youth Soccer events, both virtually for the time being and then in person once activities resume outside. Further, the two groups will explore initiatives to recruit and retain women at all levels of the sport. Among the areas of focus for those efforts are coaching, refereeing and administrative roles, as well as off-field initiatives to inspire youth players to remain in the game.

“New Jersey Youth Soccer has been an incredible partner to Sky Blue, so we are thrilled to formalize this relationship for another year,” Sky Blue FC general manager Alyse LaHue said. “We look forward to more engagement between our organizations and expanded interaction between Sky Blue professional players and youth players at all levels of the game.”

The NWSL has suspended all activities until at least May 5. Once it is deemed safe for a return to training, league decisions will be made regarding the schedule for the 2020 season.