As with each Fall, the team at UKSD is often very busy with high school soccer seasons. While some of our programming might seem to slow down, this is the time of year when final planning and preparations are underway for the exciting programs we will see between the winter and summer months. Mark our words, the turning of the decade will be a year to remember for us at UKSD.
While we are going to run our annual KidzPlay4Free Projects throughout the year, we have also been planning some exciting events
through our after school Community Empowerment and Leadership Club. We will embark on enhancing the education portion of our
programs and launch our new initiative, the Girls 4 Girls program.
This program is designed to connect generations of females in order to delve into the importance of supporting and empowering one another. We will do this through social issue education, activities, and reading programs. To kick of this program, we are holding a viewing of the documentary Girl Rising. This viewing will be the catalyst for important conversations around female education and empowerment.
In addition to these exciting opportunities, we also have set a foundation for what may potentially turn into a new Social Change
Through Soccer Tour. This October, we hosted a group of students, athletes, and coaches who traveled to the United States from Moldova.
This group reached out, as they were interested in expanding their knowledge of the American school system as well as our approach to
developing sports programs. Our time spent together was eye opening for all involved.
The group attended a day at Barnstable High School and was able to tour the building, see classrooms and the varied programs offered, as well as attend athletic practices. During the school day, our visitors from Moldova attended a session with students in the high school’s newly renovated library. During this session, students asked one another about their cultures, studies, and general way of life. With the help of translators, the teens were able to connect on such a real and candid level. It was fascinating to see what they have in common as teens but also what differs due to their geographical location.
After this session, students enjoyed lunch together and were able to talk in a more informal setting. It was here that they were able to talk more about what they share in common, while also sharing their goals and ideas for the future. After lunch, some members of the Moldova group when the a Q&A session with some of the school’s coaching staff, while others gave a presentation to students about the history and culture of Moldova. When the school day was done, the students then attended either a football practice or soccer practice. Here, they were able to learn from the coaches, interact with the players, and show off their skills. At the girl’s soccer practice in particular, the Moldovan coaches actually ran a session for all players. Everyone was able to see, first hand, how sports can be a thread to connect people from varied cultures, backgrounds, and who may not even share the same language.
When the day at the high school was done, the Moldovan group then traveled to Hingham, MA to spend the evening with South Shore Select Soccer Club. This could only be described as surreal. Select is host to some of the most talented and dedicated players and coaches in the region. The group from Moldova was once again able to meet with coaches and players and borrow ideas pertaining to coaching styles, systems of play, and program set up. The evening then concluded with an outdoor game under the lights. It was something that everyone in attendance will undoubtedly remember with great fondness. As this was a wonderful experience, we have begun discussions about a reciprocal program where students, teachers, and coaches from the US will travel to Moldova. This type of exchange is invaluable, and we are currently in discussion to see if this can be a reality. As you can see, we have been very busy and are looking forward to the year ahead. With our foundational programs solidified and ready to kick off and our new programs ready to launch, we anticipate one of our biggest years yet.
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