Kids who participate in City in the Community’s Saturday Night Lights program learn more than just soccer skills.
Attendees of the East Harlem program also gain valuable character traits such as leadership, responsibility and teamwork.
Those qualities were showcased as 12 kids from the Saturday Night Lights program formed a team and participated in the Eighth Annual NYC Supporters Club Cup on August 22 at Pier 40.
The team was one of 12 squads that competed in the charity tournament. Proceeds from the event go to Downtown United Soccer Club and City in the Community Foundation that support kids with scholarships and after-school programs in low-income communities.
Despite being the youngest team at the event and in a different environment, the Saturday Night Lights kids learned valuable lessons and showed great sportsmanship while having a good time.
“I was there to guide them and make sure things were in place, but the plan was to let them be independent and practice their teamwork and problem solving skills that they have been working on at their site in East Harlem,” Coach Junior said. “They might not have been a winning team, but they kept their heads up and had a lot of fun.”
Jose, Ibrahim, Cheikh, Jimmy, Bernabe, Jorge, Ariel, Moussa, John, Kevin, Yuri and Edwin played five matches against teams not within the SNL program.
“The kids had the ability to learn from some older groups of supporters and people who have played the game for some time,” New York City FC Community Development Program Coordinator Nat Bekoe said. “They carried themselves really well on the field while under little guidance. They were able to improve on their leadership skills and to take full responsibility.”