More Than A Soccer Program
McCauley Kids Soccer Program offers fitness, fun, and friendship.
From September of 2021 to May of 2022, the McCauley Kids Indoor Soccer Program ran almost every Saturday and Sunday at the Edmonton Intercultural Centre (EIC) gym. With over 40 youth participating in the program, the EIC gym and connected hallway were filled with the sounds of soccer balls flying, kids laughing, and parents and peers cheering everyone on.
Youth, ranging from 4 to 11 years old with diverse skill levels, honed their soccer skills week after week thanks to the amazing coaching abilities of Allan Suarez. Allan, the lead visionary of the program, worked with parent volunteers and the McCauley Community League (MCL) to design and offer this inclusive soccer program focusing on physical literacy and leadership. With the support of other partners, such as the Italian Centre and the City of Edmonton’s Neighbourhood Revitalization, nutritious snacks were also provided to help fuel the athletes during the program. When not playing soccer or cheering on their peers, youth took breaks from the action by making crafts, playing a parent-run activity, and making new friends within the community.
At the end of the indoor soccer season, a party was held on May 1 to celebrate the accomplishments of the youth who participated in this amazing community program. In addition to a game of soccer and team photos, piñatas, balloon animals, party games, and junk food made for a fun end-of-the-session party. This party was so much fun that one soccer player, seven-year-old Lazarus Jujjuvarapu, even deemed it “the best day of my life.”
Although the indoor season is over, soccer is not! The McCauley Kids Soccer Program started the outdoor season at the end of May at Giovanni Caboto Park. Make sure to check out the MCL at mccauleycl.com/soccer for more details.
A special thank you to all the parents, volunteers, community partners, and kids who assisted in providing such a positive experience and environment.
_Krista, who lives in the McCauley community with her family, volunteers with the McCauley Kids Soccer Program. She enjoys getting to know the youth in the community and connecting with their families._