The summer program was a very exciting time for coaches and players alike at Soccer Without Borders Boston. It was the first time in 4 months when we got to see each other in person after an entirely virtual spring season on Zoom!
For 5 weeks in July and August, we met with each team cohort of up to 12 players and coaches twice a week on the field, masks on, hands sanitized, and temperatures checked! We weren’t able to play “normal” soccer because we still had to remain physically distant with no contact. This didn’t matter too much...it just meant we had to be more creative in the ways we had fun: we ran obstacle relays, competed in shooting games, played soccer tennis, cooled off with water fights, and bonded during team circles and discussions.
New coaches and players were welcomed into SWB during this time. Volunteer coach Shelby was new to SWB, but demonstrated her commitment and enthusiasm early on. She supported coaching twice a week for the middle school girls without missing a practice and arriving early to review the practice plan! Shelby says:
“I had such a great experience volunteering for the Boston Soccer Without Borders program. I was really impressed with the level of organization and thoughtfulness led by the coaches and administrators I supported! The kids are wonderful and seem to enjoy being a part of the team as well.”
High school girls team member, Daniela, also new to SWB, really liked the program as well! She says:
“It was fun and entertaining. I enjoyed all the physical aspects, but the thing I enjoyed the most was the opening circles. I liked to know how we were all feeling and I liked to express how I felt." (Translated)
The bonding that occurred between us during this time was incredible! The smaller team cohorts provided more opportunities for quality time with the coaches and between the players. The fact that we were able to be together in these smaller groups during a time of such isolation and uncertainty seemed to bring us together like never before! We were so grateful for just that..to be TOGETHER.
Soccer Without Borders works to create community and a sense of belonging with those who are facing obstacles that often prevent this from happening, and the pandemic has made this that much more challenging. Fortunately, we’ve been able to creatively navigate these barriers and provide youth with a safe space to learn, build community, have fun, and simply be youth.