UWA soccer honors Rivas, Chu

Local businessmen and ardent soccer enthusiasts J.R. Rivas and Dr. Ronnie Chu have already made an impact on the fledgling programs at the University of West Alabama.

Sunday, UWA men’s soccer coach Matthew Thorne and UWA women’s soccer coach Graeme Orr took time out to honor Rivas and Chu for their support.

“The decision to honor Dr. Chu and J.R. was because they both gave very, very generous donations towards men’s and women’s scholarship funds for this year,” Thorne said. “They both have not just gave great donations, which is huge to the starting process for our aim to become a national powerhouse in soccer, but they are always very generous in organizing social gatherings to help the new team settle in better. Their support is huge to any success we gain and we hop to keep this relationship for the long run.”

Chu and Rivas each gave a $6,000 donation to the UWA athletic department for their soccer programs earlier this year.

“Since I moved to this area, Dr. Chu and J.R. Rivas have helped me tremendously with supporting our soccer team and the local area’s soccer groups. They are both great friends and gentlemen who would do anything to help the youth and local community and not want credit from it. So we felt it would be nice to give them something back,” Orr said. “UWA golf tournament, soccer specific fundraisers, funds towards scholarships, hosting soccer parties for both teams. The list goes on and on. These guys are fantastic, can’t put into words how much they have done for us both. Professionally and personally, it allows us to build our programs and helps us grow soccer in the community.”

Rivas and Chu, along with their families, were honored between UWA’s games against Union Sunday. The UWA men’s program, in its first year of existence, beat Union 3-0 while the UWA women, in only their second season as a team, tied at 2 Sunday.