This July, Mano en Mano ran its first soccer clinic for children ages 3-10! The idea grew out of a desire to have a community activity for kids during the summer, because there aren’t camps or accessible activities for young kids in our rural county. We had learned from our Community Needs Assessment that many families and clients desired more for their children to do for recreation. We also wanted an activity where parents could play a more participatory role, and something to bring families and community together in a small way during the summer. This first summer we registered 20 children for the soccer camp, which ran for a week, 2 hours a day. The coach, Pablo Jarrin, was highly experienced and great with small children. All the kids couldn’t get enough of his fun-loving ways and exciting games! Three high school students also volunteered during the week to help run the camp.
Pablo came up with numerous games and short activities to introduce the smallest children to the game and playing with a soccer ball, and with the older kids worked on exercises and drills. By the end of the week, each age group played a scrimmage! Just as exciting, many parents and families came out to watch their children play for the duration of the camp, so everyone was able to spend some time together. We hope to expand to more participants and age groups in the coming years, and were so pleased with the first year’s outcomes.