Thursday, February 19, 2009
The picture above includes the majority of participants in last night's Street Soccer NYC practice. The most impressive thing about these smiles is that I took the photo after practice, immediately following a suicide sprint. One player, Willy, said it was the first time he had run in three years!
The practice took place in the gym at HELP USA's Supportive employment center on Ward's Island. Three players, not counting Patti who showed up late, Omar, Jessica, and Calvin, participated from the SEC. The other seven players came over with staff member Greg Brockington from HELP USA's Next Step program. They included Rolando, Abraham, Willy, Albert, Jose, Woods, and Donald.
Volunteers, coaches Chris Murray, Tyler Brown and I led us in a warm up and game of head catch to start practice off. Then we had a brief word with the team to explain the program's intention: Street Soccer NYC is about doing something positive with your free time, it's about building an inclusive community focused on the future. As membership builds we will join a local league to compete in. This summer we will create the New York team that travels to the Street Soccer USA Cup in Washington, D.C. Once you come to five practices, you will sit down with the coaches to set 3, 6, and 12 month goals for yourself. The coaches and volunteers will go through the same process. Most of the work rests with you, but knowing what you want to achieve we will work with you to help you achieve it.
With that as the preface, we began to play. Abraham who was shooting baskets with his feet last week, to no one's surprise was a clear standout. Calvin from the SEC on the other hand, kept very low key until the games began and before we knew it he was leading all scorers with 4 goals.
We look forward to being in touch as the story of the team unfolds and if you are not already a member join the HELP USA Facebook page to follow news on Street Soccer NYC.
Next practice is Tuesday at 8:30pm. As we build membership, volunteers, and find alternative times, we will increase practices.
Posted by Lawrence at 6:10 AM