SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — A Syracuse-based soccer camp is teaching more than the sport itself.
Soccer For Success is a camp directed by the Syracuse YWCA. The camp is for boys and girls ages 5-13 and is held every Tuesday and Thursday morning from Schiller Park. Campers are taught the fundamentals of the game and are reminded of life lessons that they can take home.
The camp allows kids and their families who deal with barriers to gain access to the sport. Each camper receives a jersey, a ball, and a pair of shin guards. Executive Director Fanny Villarreal said each program reminds its participants of the YWCA mission.
“To eliminate racism, empower women and girls, and promote peace, justice, equity and freedom for all,” Villarreal said.
Participants are taught by members of the Urban Soccer Development Program, teenagers who were once a part of this program and are looking to further their soccer careers in high school and college. Villarreal said that it is the instructors who leave a lasting impact on each camper.
“I always teach the kids and I say you always remember where you came from so then you can help and be a role model for the ones that are coming behind you,” Villarreal said.
The message is clear: soccer is for everyone.
Villarreal also said that she makes sure every kid does three things while attending programs through the organization. The first is to stay in school, the second is learn how to deal with conflict, and third is to deal with your emotions.
Soccer For Success runs until Aug. 19. The YWCA are still looking for volunteers and equipment donations, specifically soccer cleats. Visit YWCA-Syracuse.org for more information on future events.