Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Holiday Reflection...Bay Area Breeze Making a Difference with America SCORES!

This fall season, members of the Bay Area Breeze Women's team made a very special visit to one of the America SCORES Bay Area soccer game days at Crocker Amazon.  We are so thankful for the inspiration they brought to many of our young girls in the league giving them the confidence to go for their dreams!  Here is a reflection about their experience with our poet-athletes...
America SCORES prepares cheer!
Working with youth has been a goal of the Bay Area Breeze since inception in 2011. We’ve partnered with small clubs and many of our players work as coaches for various clubs and high schools throughout the Bay Area. Since talking with America SCORES about creating a partnership a few months ago, we’d been very excited about the chance to get involved with the opportunities they offer to urban youth in the San Francisco, Bay Area.

America SCORES athletes pose with their new friends on the Bay Area Breeze.

With both an academic and healthy lifestyle approach, America SCORES is able to provide a unique learning opportunity for student athletes in their program. Breeze players were able to relate to SCORES athletes by using their experiences on the soccer field as a platform for learning. The Breeze’s General Manager, Maria Lashinger looks forward to inspiring the youth of the local community. “We at the Breeze are looking forward to helping SCORES advance their mission by being role models in the community for healthy, confident students,” Lashinger said.
We were happy to experience first hand the 'America SCORES Experience' at their Saturday Game Day. Breeze players had the opportunity to interact with SCORES athletes on a personal level through various activities throughout the day. The players started out with an introduction of themselves, telling the kids where they were from, their favorite things about soccer, how to stay healthy, as well as the importance of doing well in school. America SCORES students then read their poetry for Breeze players who sat in as guest judges for the session. “After watching and listening to the kids

Bay Area Breeze defenders, Danielle Johnson and
Gina Woodward with America SCORES athlete           
read their poems and seeing how much time they put into it, I found that the poetry reading is a brilliant idea,” Breeze defender, Gina Woodward, said. “At this age, I believe it is important to make academics fun and engaging and I think that combining soccer with poetry does exactly that.“ 

The last poem presented was from Breeze midfielder, Leah Morales. She wrote about confidence and being a team player. Leah’s poem can be seen and heard HERE.
Following the poetry session, Breeze players lead the America SCORES pre-game ceremony. All SCORES athletes gathered with their teams to remember why they play soccer together and how they can be the best player on the field and off. The cheer was LOUD and the perfect way to get game day started, or see for yourself!
Breeze players took the field as referees, as SCORES game day took off. The Breeze players shared their knowledge of the game with the kids as they played, reminding them how to properly throw the ball in and encouraging them to pass and shoot throughout the game. “Being on the same field as our future was an amazing experience,” Breeze midfielder, Kristina Hall, said. “Those players have so much love and passion for America SCORES.“ 

Everyone loves to kick back and read at the Book ZONE!

The day closed out with a meet and greet between Bay Area Breeze players and America SCORES student athletes. The kids were able to get autographs with their new friends and take photos together. SCORES kids were not afraid to ask the players more questions about playing soccer, doing well in school, and how to become a professional soccer player. “It was a very humbling experience to see young kids enjoy the game of soccer so much, and also brings back a lot of good memories from when I was a kid playing club soccer,” Breeze goalkeeper, Yiana Dimmitt, said. “It means so much to me that the SCORES kids got so excited to meet us and get autographs and pictures.”
***America SCORES Bay Area welcomes one and all to join our special game days and events.  This is a great way for teams and companies to give back to the community while inspiring and being mentors in the classroom and on the soccer field.  For more information on how to get involved, please contact Shannon Burns, Volunteer / Community Outreach Director at sburns@americascoresbayarea.org.  

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