The Salt River Recreation Department and Scottsdale Soccer Club hosted a soccer clinic for interested youth of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Sessions began on September 189 and ended on October 19.
The clinic was a joint partnership between the SRPMIC Recreation Department and Scottsdale Soccer Club. The club provided instruction and equipment for Community children who were interested in learning the sport. The soccer club also worked to encourage the young players and evaluated their skills, making the sessions both instructive and enjoyable.
“The clinic lasted for four weeks, every Tuesday and Friday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We had over 30 kids from the ages of 4 to 18 come out and participate,” said Recreation Coordinator David Willis.
The Recreation Department started the Friendship Soccer League in Salt River and has seven teams for kids ages 8-12. The goal is to develop a group of young players who show a great interest and skill level in soccer from the clinics and the league to form a competitive team to play in the Scottsdale league.
“My colleagues and I were absolutely delighted to be conducting soccer clinics for children of the Salt River Community,” said Neil Graham, coach of the Blackhawks Academy of the Scottsdale Soccer Club. “We are all former professional and collegiate soccer players who now work as coaches for Arizona’s largest soccer club, Scottsdale Soccer, and we have thousands of youth recreational players and over 800 competitive youth players who train at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.”
Graham said they are so appreciative of their lease agreement to play at Salt River Fields that several parents of the players and coaches wanted to find a way to do something special for the Salt River Community.
“Representatives from our organization met with President Enos last spring, and she led the effort that created the successful soccer clinics that are now available for Salt River children to attend for free,” said Graham. “The cost of the clinics has been underwritten by parents of our club.
“Our goal is to teach them soccer skills and encourage them to have fun exercising with their friends.”