|Since August 19, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Recreation Department has hosted a free youth soccer clinic at the Salt River Recreation football field. The clinic has attracted well over 100 youth soccer participants and is due to continue into October. This clinic is open to youth ages 4 to 17, who gather every Wednesday evening at the field to learn the sport of soccer while having fun.
This clinic is sponsored by the Arizona United Soccer Club, a professional team based in Peoria. Approximately seven volunteers who are professional soccer players assist with the camp. Youth are categorized into different age groups and taught the basics of soccer.
Parents Keri Tuchawena and Ruben Rush have two girls participating in the camp. Players Adryana and Kali Norris seem to be enjoying soccer thus far, according to their parents, especially because they both get to play on the same field.
“This is their second time coming to the clinic. They enjoy it, they have fun, and they already went out and bought some soccer gear. It’s making them more excited for soccer,” said Tuchawena, who pinpoints physical activity as a benefit from soccer, as well as exposing the girls to new sports.
“Soccer’s a good fundamental foundation sport for other sports and different things,” added Rush.
During the clinic, each age group worked with a professional soccer volunteer, who showed them the basics of the game. Depending on age, each group was showed a different way to play and learned to stretch to prevent injuries. After the basics were ironed out, each age group was broken into teams that played against each other. The skills that players had acquired earlier were then put to use on the soccer field.
After hearing from a family member about the clinic, two Community parents decided to take their daughters to the clinic as well. The girls are enjoying the clinic thus far, according to the parents.
“The clinic keeps them active, and the staff and coaches really interact with the kids and show them how to play and what to do,” said the mother of Maddison Chiago and Judum Miles.
For more information about the youth soccer clinic, call Athletics Program Supervisor Michael Douglas at (480) 362-5770 or the Salt River Recreation Department at (480) 362-6360.