Soccer and Summer Success

During our Summer Success program, kids at our Leaven centers play a variety of fun outdoor games and sports. At one center last summer, volunteers from the local High School Football team donated some of their time to teach our students how to play football; while at another center, we focused on teaching our students how to swim in their community’s pool.

soccerBut perhaps the most popular sport we play at our centers every summer is Soccer.

Soccer is a great sport for our Leaven kids to learn; it’s fun and very active, helping to teach kids about teamwork, while also providing excellent exercise. It’s also a sport that’s easy for Leaven kids to play on their own at home because all you need is a ball!

Growing up I participated in a lot of sports: swimming, volleyball, softball, and even some flag football. But for over eight years I played soccer. I would play for multiple teams, in the summer and fall; even go to special camps to improve my skills. It was a sport that I found to not only be fun, but also challenging.

I once managed to turn a typical childhood blunder on its head, breaking a window with a soccer ball rather than the expected baseball. I also really enjoyed playing even more when the fields would become covered in mud (much to my parent’s frustration, I’m sure).

Now I mostly watch soccer, looking forward to World Cups every four years and occasionally tuning in for professional games. But I still remember many of the lessons I learned from playing soccer, and have fun kicking a ball around every now and then.

For Leaven kids, playing soccer means so much. It not only teaches them healthy habits, but helps them grow and build confidence, and learn to work together as a team. That’s why for our Summer Success program, soccer is more than just a game — it’s a tool that can help kids and communities rise.

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