Casino Road Futbol Academy A Huge Success

June 29, 2011

Events in Everett, Everett

Casino Road Futbol Academy

Nearly 500 kids are participating this year

It started pretty informally five years ago as a way to keep kids out of trouble. Now, with nearly 500 kids, the annual Casino Road Futbol Academy is a major event on Everett’s Casino Road. I’ll be the first to admit that when I write about Casino Road it’s usually a story about crime, gangs or violence. Today I wanted to share one of the many positive sides of Casino Road. One that doesn’t get enough attention. This week dozens of volunteers are taking vacation, helping here on their time off before and after work or donating personal time, money and energy to teach positive life lessons thru soccer to kids ages six to fourteen at Walter E. Hall Park on Casino Road. They are teachers, parents, police officers and soccer coaches, each with their own reasons for donating their time and feeding off the energy and excitement generated by nearly 500 young participants. The idea for the week-long program came from Manuel Garcia, back when he was a police sergeant working the Casino road area. A former professional soccer player in Mexico City, Garcia knew from personal experience how playing the game can keep you out of trouble. The vast majority of the kids at the academy live on Casino road and come from families living at or below the poverty level. While the cost is only $20 for the week-long camp, many of the kids attend for free thanks to scholarships made possible by donations from the general public, sponsors and community groups. In addition to soccer, the academy teaches positive life lessons. After breakfast, today’s lesson was about respect, teamwork and communication. It started with a presentation and demonstrations of respect, teamwork and communication by several Everett police officers and then the volunteer soccer coaches took those lessons onto the field. Every day a different set of life lessons is taught, followed by lots and lots of soccer.

Everett Police Lt. Manuel Garcia

I asked Garcia, now a police lieutenant, if the project was getting too big to handle, nearly doubling in size year after year. He smiled and said no, this is truly a project that will never get too big, especially too big to fail. It’s also nice to see that what started out as a simple idea and a project to keep kids occupied and interested in soccer has turned into a family affair. Garcia proudly pointed out his daughter, who was busy with clipboard and notes, organizing the day’s activities. He pointed to his brothers and sisters in arms at the Everett Police Department, who give their own time, money and effort. He pointed out the parents of the participants who make this their family vacation and coach their sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, cousins and perfect strangers. He pointed to the teachers and community volunteers all working together to build a better community right here on Everett’s Casino Road. If you’d like to help out with next year’s camp, make a donation or find out more. Just click here. [ad#Google Adsense]

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