|Meet Melissa, another Beyond Soccer Success Story
Melissa came to Lawrence from Guatemala with her family in 2010. She was living in Lawrence only two short months before she found Beyond Soccer, thanks mainly to coach Edgar who is also a native of Guatemala and Beyond Soccer mentor. Melissa spoke no English but certainly knew what to do with a ball at her feet. Although her play in Guatemala was limited to street soccer, she had far more ability and experience than her Lawrence teammates. During her first season, Melissa took the team on her own shoulders and scored many goals. Difficulty arose the following year as Melissa did not show “team” aptitude, held the ball too long and often got frustrated with her teammates. Although her English was steadily improving, her understanding of team play and support remained an obstacle to her improvement.
Fast forward 3 � years! Melissa, now an 8th grader at the Oliver School, has made a healthy transformation. Read more
…Although soccer was the vehicle for connecting Melissa, it was the “beyond” theme that really made a difference in her life.
Our School-Day Soccer & Wellness Program will expand into more schools!
We just said goodbye to 350 Guilmette elementary school children on June 6th. The goodbyes marked the end of our FIRST full-year, school day enrichment program that introduced 5-a side soccer play with interactive nutrition and wellness games to 1st and 2nd graders at the Boys & Girls Club and Guilmette School gymnasiums.
When we started, most young participants were apprehensive. They did not want to try soccer and many girls reported that “sweating was gross and unladylike.” However, through regular exposure and staff reinforcement, their attitudes shifted. The students became more and more eager, ultimately developing a thirst for both soccer and being active. The “no sweat” attitude changed to one of “sweat = scoring.”
In addition to soccer play, students were also introduced to nutrition education through movement activities and competitive games. This program component emphasized good food choices and increased physical activity. The students were little sponges, soaking up the nutrition themes, i.e. food groups and how to differentiate between Go (everyday), Slow (sometimes) and Whoa (occasional) foods. Read More
Spring Soccer Season Recap – More than 150 players impacted!
Before we shift gears and head into summer, we want to recognize the accomplishments of our travel teams over the last 3 months. The spring season ended June 14th with the U14 girl’s and U12 boy’s teams narrowly missing playoff bids to the Essex County Tournament of Champions. The girls team was tied for 2nd place, but missed the tourney slot by a one point goal differential.
Beyond Soccer fielded 5 travel teams this spring (80 kids). Our very first U-18 women’s team, coached by Marcy Ansley, had a very challenging season, playing against area teams in the top and toughest A bracket. Marcy kept their spirits up by focusing on small successes and close matches. Our Bulldogs and
Her’ricanes also participated in Memorial Day weekend tournaments in Danvers and Lynn. These tournaments host some of the strongest teams in Essex County and although very challenged, we learn: how to prepare, be disciplined, be good sports, eat for success, make new friends and have extraordinary fun. The players are now looking forward to June 24th when they will head into Boston for the Boston College Lady Eagles and Harvard University Crimson Soccer School Camps. Here, they will interact with kids from all over the state to sharpen their skills and increase their confidence as they prepare for high school and fall league play. Sponsor a child’s summer camp experience here!
Pictured above are seven of our little guys at the Saturday afternoon recreational program held at Greater Lawrence Technical School. Rec usually attract 55-70 energetic & enthusiastic weekly participants!