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On Saturday, July 1 T.O.P Soccer culminated its spring/summer clinic with a special awards ceremony and family day. There were 45 people in attendance, which ranged from community members to News 12 The Bronx.
It was a picturesque day for soccer. The breeze blew with a cool, calm tropical feel, the rays of sunlight peered through the surrounding trees and gently rested on the leaves. Passersby were intrigued by the green and yellow balloons and table of goodies supplied by generous sponsors. Many stopped to inquire – “What’s going on here?”, “Wow!”, “This is a beautiful thing and it’s happening in our community.” As children and families began to arrive, an abundance of smiles was ever-present. One can say, that they all intrinsically knew something special was about to take place. As children were gearing up to begin their last (seasonal) session, families were getting ready with camera phones to begin a massive photo op and selfie fest.
The usual warm-up began, jumping-jacks, star-jumps, lunges and a bit of jogging. Then, onto a group favorite, good ole tag – I tell you, children love chasing coaches. Right before the game ends, Ethan slips, runs into Joe and starts crying. At this point, everyone becomes silent. “Water-break”, exclaimed a coach! Ethan had a few sips of water and words of consolation, then, he was good-to-go. After the quick break, back they were to work on balance, listening, passing and scoring goals. The four-year old’s just wanted to score goals – gooaaaal! The older children, worked on more technical aspects, such as moving into space, teamwork and communication. As the morning progressed, so did their droplets of sweat, which was not to be mistaken for fatigue, instead, a symbolic representation of their training, optimism and persistence. Their T.O.P mind frame allowed them to express themselves positively with a game and race at the end. And yes, the race is another favorite, they get to touch a tree and give high fives! After the race, they created a group huddle, raising their hands to answer questions about what they enjoyed and learned. Finally, fists-in and they all yelled “T.O.P Soccer” vociferously.
After enjoying bagels, turkey sandwiches and fruit they all lined up in unison as their names were individually called to receive medals and certificates of achievement. Of course, no one went home after the ceremony, they all indulged in fun and awesomeness. As the children, went off playing with frisbees, dancing to music, drawing hearts with side-walk chalk, T.O.P Soccer was grateful for the opportunity to work with the community and empower future leaders. See you next season!
How can I make an impact? I often think about the complexities associated with trying to answer this said question. Often times, my mind journeys into an unknown an orbit attempting to find solutions. I then realize, instead of attempting the top-down approach, start from the bottom-up — for it is bound to yield more attainable results. Then, the light-bulbs switch on, grassroots. T.O.P Soccer is intentional about its grassroots approach as shown through its character development model with our youth; teamwork, critical thinking, listening, cooperation, kindness, public speaking and more. T.O.P Soccer is also an advocate for grassroots as shown through its green logo, get it? grass-green? Haha. Okay, let’s stick to soccer and not comedy. In short, starting from the bottom-up can be a simple and effective approach. Remember, the mustard tree was once a seed.
T.O.P Soccer is hosting its end of season awards event and family day on Saturday, July 1. Please read flyer below!
Have you ever thought of trying to achieve something but never tried because of fear, lack of time or what others may say? T.O.P Soccer encourages you to score a goal — whether you want to learn a new language, try a new diet, make a new friend or apply for a job when the odds are against you, just work towards making your vision a reality. Don’t hesitate, don’t debate, go for it and don’t wait!
T.O.P Soccer would like to extend thanks and gratitude to the Yankees for awarding us a sports equipment grant. This grant, will assist in our future goals of purchasing equipment for our fall 2017 soccer clinic. T.O.P Soccer also looks forward to sustaining its partnership with the Yankees.
On Wednesday, May 24 T.O.P Soccer brought a group to see the Yankees in action as part of our adult engagement programming. It was a high energy atmosphere, filled with fun and excitement. Our group enjoyed every minute of it and we are looking forward to future outings.
T.O.P Soccer participated in NYC’s AIDS walk. The walk, was our maiden one and we were thankful to show support and help raise awareness.
On Saturday, May 6, T.O.P Soccer participated in a community outreach event at Drew Park Playground. Building relationships and serving is how we make a difference!
The proverbial saying, ‘reach for the stars’ is often used as a source of inspiration to propel the human journey forward. What if this approach does not work? What if we fall into a state of languish? How then shall we inspire ourselves or others? The reality is that downfalls and low-points make up the fabric of our human existence. As long as we begin to understand this, we can use downfalls and low-points to build and rebuild our character. T.O.P Soccer encourages youth and community to aim high from within thyself – for to understand thyself, is a source of inspiration one needs to navigate life.