Some 150 Vallejo and Benicia girls age 6 to 12, have the opportunity to learn soccer tips from the California Storm women’s professional soccer team, during a free soccer camp in Vallejo next month, organizer City Councilwoman Pippin Dew-Costa said.
This is the camp’s second year, she said.
“I got the idea from Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, who did a similar thing, and I modeled it after hers, tweaked some things and made it my own,” Dew-Costa said.
It’s not all about soccer, however, she said.
“Its focus is also on healthy living, eating right, being physically active, and about women in leadership,” Dew-Costa said. “We want to inspire young girls to be active, engaged and learn to work as a team and become leaders.”
Some of the event’s myriad sponsors will have booths at the event, which is taking place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 10, at Vallejo’s Dan Foley Park turf field, 1499 N. Camino Alto.
“Kaiser (Permanente) will have a physician there who will speak on avoiding injuries, Soltrans will offer free rides for participants with a flyer, and GVRD is donating the site,” she said.
The whole thing impressed Vallejo’s Mari Salazar, whose 11-year-old daughter participated last year and plans to do it again.
“She learned a lot of new skills, even though she’s been in soccer for a while,” Salazar said. “She learned some minor injury first aid and it was nice to see so many kids at different levels, which was a big plus. Pippin was awesome. She put in a lot of time on this, and you could tell.”
Among the partnerships Dew-Costa formed to make this event happen, is one with Vallejo Together’s Maria Guevara, who has helped ensure that the area’s young girls struggling with homelessness with their families are aware of this opportunity. Dew-Costa said she plans to personally sponsor some of these, “to help provide a foundation and empowerment.”
Lauren Cracraft of Vallejo, who founded The Vallejo Pioneers, a Saturday club for children staying at the Christian Help Center, said she’s thrilled that these girls have the chance to have this experience.
“Pippen is going to sponsor 100 girls for this, and I think that’s amazing,” Cracraft said. “It’s not very often our kids are afforded an opportunity like this.”
The Vallejo Pioneers usually hosts 20 to 30 children weekly, with breakfast, arts and crafts, games and lunch, she said.
Cracraft said she is most surprised by what she’s gained by founding this group.
“While I started this venture with the desire to impact our youth, it is actually them who have tremendously impacted me,” she said. “I love them very much, as my own, and their resiliency is inspiring. Any help generated by the community is not only an investment in our children but an investment in our community’s future.”
The community is invited to participate in the Saturday program as Cracraft said it’s hard to recruit and retain volunteers and lunch sponsors for the children. Interested sponsors/volunteers can contact her at (707) 301-9782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants in the Kicking up a Storm free soccer clinic for girls (up to 150) will get a free soccer ball, T-shirt, lunch and water and are encouraged to bring cleats and shin guards.
The day will start at 8 a.m. with registration, followed by small group drills run by California Storm members. This will be followed by workshops and then a scrimmage said Dew-Costa, who said she played varsity soccer in high school and coaches her daughter’s team.
Following last year’s event, Dew-Costa said she spotted some of the bright green event T-shirts around the city, and that felt pretty good.
“I saw girls wearing the shirts around town afterward, and that was great,” she said.
To register for the soccer camp, go to www.gvrd.org, under “summer programs 2017,” “sports” find the event “Kicking up a Storm!”
Flyers can be found either RE/MAX Gold, 2100 Tennessee St. in Vallejo or 426 First Street in Benicia.
Contact Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at (707) 553-6824.
Original article here.