SWB Summer Soccer Camp for Underserved Kids

The Cause

Imagine a Community that lives more like Family.....where neighbours know and trust each other and pool their resources of skills and talents to strengthen their community at large. Soccer Without Boundaries (SWB) has been volunteering in Glenbrook's low income housing community for eight years to bring about this transformation. We call it strengthening "natural supports." We've brought families together through a free weekly drop-in soccer club, a subsidized annual soccer camp, and an after school program offering lessons in reading, art, keyboard and guitar. Hundreds of immigrant and low-income kids have benefited. Because of our ongoing commitment to our community we've watched our kids grow up and take on leadership roles in their teens. We're teaching them Five Fundamentals for success in life and equipping them to live out their potential. And our investment is starting to pay off. Four of our kids have taken their soccer skills to such a high level that they've been chosen for elite academy training in the US and England. One young lady received a full scholarship for University for her soccer abilities. Some have been hired as coaches and administrators for our soccer camps. Many youth, endorsed by SWB, have found jobs in the community.

And it's not just the young people who are engaging with us. Parents from different cultural backgrounds are working together to support one another's kids as volunteers in our programs. As they develop friendships with one another and learn of one another's needs, they facilitate meaningful connections with those who can help.

Every year more lives are impacted as natural supports develop between neighbours. And every year we manage to find donors who invest in this volunteer-run effort to strengthen community.

This year we are looking for support to offer this year's week-long soccer camp for 120 boys and girls between grade 1 and grade 8. Every child goes home with a soccer ball, jersey and water bottle and stories of playing soccer against Calgary's Police Soccer team. Highly skilled coaches and academy trainers ensure that the kids develop skills while having fun. The whole Glenbrook community is invited to attend our end of camp Celebration BBQ.

Who Will it Benefit?

Soccer Without Boundaries' impact is a result of our commitment to serve the Glenbrook community every week of every year for eight years. This year's soccer camp is an important highlight in the life of all returning campers as well as those siblings who will now be old enough to attend. Besides the 120+ kids who will be in attendance, another 35 youth from the community will serve as small group leaders and coaches. Five to ten women from the community will serve as snack coordinators and cleaners and another ten will join us to help with our wrap up Celebration and BBQ. Last year we had over 400 people from the community attend our BBQ.

Because of the high engagement and retention levels we have in the community those who might otherwise get in trouble with the law are kept from negatively impacting the community, their schools, and Calgary at large. Natural supports help us identify youth-at-risk so we can get them help before it's too late. Lessons learned through the Five Fundamentals of awareness, focus, routines, relationships and resourcefulness will equip our youth to perform well in their chosen careers and to raise healthy families. Immigrant parents who finally feel a sense of purpose and belonging will be happier and positively affect the atmosphere in their homes. While we can't tally up all of those who will benefit from their involvement in this year's soccer camp, we expect its impact will be felt by many far into the future.