One year ago, we lost one of the greatest humans to ever impact FC Wisconsin. Val Olla left us on May 29, 2019, but continues to live on in our club through the kindness we show each other, the inclusiveness of all players and families, the smile we give each other, the banter we share and remember his amazing smile, his love for family, his love for FC Family, and his desire to bring people together.
Today, we continue to honor him by announcing the annual Val Olla Scholarship. This scholarship can be applied for by any and all FC Wisconsin players, and will cover the training fees for the winner of the award. The scholarship recipient will be chosen by Tony and Fay Olla. Read on to learn more.
Please consider purchasing a Val Olla tribute T-shirt. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Val Olla Scholarship Fund. The sale ends Thursday, June 11.
The Val Olla Scholarship
On the field, Val was the ultimate teammate. He was competitive, unselfish, positive yet demanding and knew the importance of execution. He was willing to play any position to help his team and led by example in work rate and encouragement. Val was always willing to let others shine for the good of the team. He had no problem putting in the dirty work, out-working opponents, putting in tackles and then helping others look good.
Off the field, he had style and a personality that drew people in. He was kind, caring, compassionate, unselfish, and knew the importance of everyone feeling included and part of a big family. He knew “FC Family” wasn’t a catch phrase, but rather a way of life. He lived this.
Val would show up at the field with his brothers and family and a pick-up-game would ensue with anyone and everyone that wanted to play. Whether they used official mini goals or cones as goals or spare shoes as a goal, the game was gonna happen. Ability, skill, technique, didn’t matter. Everyone was welcome. Now, if the game were against his brothers, young or old, it was as competitive as the World Cup Final! But he loved his brothers, his family, and the togetherness of competing with each other.
As an example, one day training was about to begin. It was raining, not just a drizzle; but it was coming down hard and steady. Val would typically lead the group in a few laps with stretching movements and a warm up. Luc, was getting rained on though so Val sprinted from the group, gave Luc a coat and told him to put it on and then continued the warm up like nothing had happened. Always looking out for the good of others.
The Val Olla Scholarship was created to honor one FC Wisconsin player every year who best displays the ultimate teammate, the ultimate clubmate, and all the caring and inclusive characteristics of Val and the FC way of life.
Any player in the FC Family can qualify for the scholarship. How does one qualify?
- Display the FC Family way of life in your everyday actions.
- Be caring, unselfish and inclusive.
- Be positive, cheer on your FC Family, show up, cheer on, and watch games that are not your team or age group.
- Write an essay, no more than two pages, about what the FC Family means to you and how you tried to display the characteristics of Val both on and off the field.
- If you knew Val, add your favorite memory or impactful encounter you had with our "Captain in the Sky."
- If you did not know Val, add an encounter you have had with another FC Wisconsin teammate who displayed the characteristics of Val.
- Feel free to add an example where you saw Val working through to display inclusiveness and the FC Family life.
- The player applying for the scholarship must get a written quote from a FC Wisconsin coach who can verify that they believe the player has shown characteristics of Val and the FC way of life.
Who will determine which player wins the scholarship every year? Tony and Fay Olla will read through all the entries and determine which player has best displayed the characteristics of Val and the FC way of life. Once determined, the Val Olla Scholarship Fund will pay for this player’s training fees for one year.
**The Val Olla Scholarship will be funded by special Val Olla T-shirt sales, donors, and FC Wisconsin. The scholarship will cover training fees only. Uniform, indoor fees, referee fees will be covered independently by the family of the winner. Anyone wishing to donate to the Val Olla Scholarship Fund can contact Ben Shepherd or Billy Solberg.