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Soccer Program Celebrates 10 years, Brings Camaraderie to Colombia!
The 10 Sport Soccer Program at the Michael-Ann Russell JCC, North Miami Beach, FL celebrated its 10th year as a youth soccer academy for boys and girls, by opening a non-profit Soccer Academy in the underprivileged city of Quibdo (Chocó), Colombia.
Luis Carlos Jimenez, Director and Head Coach of 10 Sport Soccer, and native of Colombia, wanted to do something to acknowledge this 10-year milestone, by “giving back” to the country from where he was born and raised. He chose the small, poor, underdeveloped city of Quibdo, also known as ‘Choco,’ Colombia, where the people suffer from poverty and hunger on a daily basis.
“We like to think of our soccer program as a “Human Development Academy,” and the sport of Soccer is the vehicle in which we help children develop their sense of belonging, confidence, teamwork, and camaraderie, as well as other positive values,” Luis explains.
Spearheading this project with Luis was Doctor Gonzalo Gonzalez who lives in the city of 'Choco,' and has witnessed first hand the effects of the poverty level on the residents - especially the children. "These children have very little to look forward to, and providing a program such as this, allows them to realize their talents, strengths, and dreams, hopefully enabling them to improve their lives as they grow," Dr. Gonzalez remarked.
Also assisting in the efforts to help these children are the parents of the 10 Sport Soccer participants at the MAR-JCC. These parents have generously donated funds for uniforms, soccer cleats, and equipment for the kids of ‘Choco.’ “Believe it or not, for many of these kids, this is the first time they have worn soccer cleats, or any shoes at all,” Luis continues. Additionally, 10 Sport opened a house that serves as the Club House where 9 orphans and a Coach with his family live. The program has grown to 150 kids ranging from age 4 to age 17, and food is being provided so that all the kids at “10 Sport Choco” are able to go to school and have at least one full, nutritious meal per day - guaranteed.
10 Sport Soccer not only teaches the game of soccer, it creates an environment where young players learn, develop, enjoy, and play the popular sport of Soccer. Through a recreational program, kids are taught the basics of the sport and through games within their groups, learn the fundamentals. This year, 10 SPORT will be offering a "Mommy and Me Soccer Class”, for children ages 2 1/2 to 4 years old. For more information, on 10 Sport Soccer at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or to register, please call 305-932-4200 x145/146. See our full Program Guide of classes and activities by going to www.marjcc.org.
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The Michael-Ann Russell JCC is dedicated to the enrichment of Jewish life, representing a model of acceptance, understanding and diversity. The MAR-JCC is a beneficiary agency of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and United Way of Miami-Dade.