Anyone who played sports as a child might want to consider passing along to kids in underresourced communities the same opportunity to learn teamwork, get fit and have fun in a safe environment.
Tulane students Alex Schoolfield (far left) and Katie McCluskey (far right) pause from kicking around the ball with McDonogh No. 32 Elementary School students (second from left to right) Lydell Hunter, Haley Allen and Cameron Russell. Schoolfield and McCluskey participated in after-school soccer training at the West Bank school in preparation for the upcoming YLC Kicks/NORD Soccer Saturdays. (Photo by Tricia Travis)
Volunteer soccer coaches are needed for Soccer Saturdays, a Young Leadership Council (YLC) Kicks
program starting this Saturday (April 6) at New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD
) playgrounds around the city. The citywide soccer season is funded by YLC
in cooperation with NORD and will continue through May. Transportation to the playgrounds will be available on Tulane shuttle vans.
“You don’t have to commit to every Saturday,” says Tricia Travis. “You can come as much or as little as you can.”
Travis, a 2011 Tulane University graduate, is a Coach Across America
youth soccer coordinator for YLC Kicks, a nonprofit, sports-based youth development organization. YLC Kicks is a partner with the Tulane Center for Public Service
During Soccer Saturdays, coaches will teach basic skills to children who may never have seen a soccer ball before, says Travis.
Soccer is a simple game that “allows kids to be creative,” says Travis. “We want our kids to just play, play, play in any position.”
Katie McCluskey, a sophomore public health major, is an intern for YLC Kicks and future president of the Urban Soccer Club, a club that is forming at Tulane to spread the love of the “beautiful game” and bring soccer enthusiasts together.
“I believe that soccer can make a huge impact on the lives of children,” says McCluskey. “Not only is the sport fun and exciting, it is a great way to build important life skills like loyalty and teamwork.”
Members of the Tulane community interested in participating in Soccer Saturdays or the Urban Soccer Club should contact McCluskey