Refugee Youth Soccer Camp
If you are a friend of the IRC-LA office on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/IRCLA), you have probably already noticed the multiple images of grinning children participating in our Refugee Youth Soccer Camp, which was piloted in late August.
IRC-LA partnered with Soccer without Borders, a non-profit organization that runs community-led, year round programs and uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change in the lives of marginalized youth. Refugee children had the opportunity to experience professional soccer training under direct supervision of John O’Brien (former professional soccer player) and other talented coaches and assistants.
The weeklong program included: learning soccer techniques, participating in team-building activities, and having immense amounts of fun. Our participants ranged anywhere from 5 to 18 years and were equally divided between male and female. With a generous donation provided by an anonymous donor, children received brand new Nike soccer gear that they took home with them. Each of the 27 participants and their parents rated the program with very high marks and indicated their desire for IRC and Soccer Without Borders to continue this program throughout the year. To respond to the demand, we will be working on setting up an ongoing, weekend soccer program and possibly creating our own refugee soccer team. Kicks to that!