Just Play Program Blossoms in Albany, Grows Beyond
Just Play program reaches more than 70 young players in the city of Albany through 8 weeks of programming
In late March, we wrapped up our first stand-alone program as a foundation. According to Executive Director, Josh Binfield, “The purpose of the Just Play program was to provide kids with an opportunity to learn and play soccer in an environment that fostered leadership, self-esteem, and social-emotional skills. Our volunteers and the group of players we worked with exceeded our expectations and we cannot wait to start another program in Albany.”
Through eight weeks of winter programming, our 72 participants were able to enjoy the game of soccer and come away each week with a leadership word. Our volunteers learned how to facilitate open play, as well as teach values, such as persistence, hard work, positive communication, sportsmanship, leadership, and inclusiveness. Weekly volunteer and Albany native, Sa Nay expressed that, “It was nice to see these kids come together making new friends and enjoy with a smile the fantastic sport. The program was very eye-opening as it showed how important it was to be a good role model for these kids that looked up to us. I believe that it was important to volunteer because kids sometimes need a role model, friends, and/or mentor to guide them into something to love, such as soccer in our case.”
The Just Play program is currently being offered in Troy until the beginning of June. We look forward to its continued growth in each location and beyond.