Getting Girls in the Game

On December 2, 20011, the San Francisco Coaching Corps Girls’ Soccer League celebrated the successful completion of its fifth season with a fall tournament at the Salvation Army in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

The place was packed: Not only did 91 girls show up to play, but nearly 150 parents and family members showed up to cheer their girls on – and in some cases, get in the game themselves in a fierce mother-daughter face-off.

The girls, who ranged from first through fifth grade, come from several San Francisco after-school sports programs that partner with Coaching Corps, including the YMCA, Community Youth Center, GLIDE, Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center and the Tenderloin Recreation Center. Throughout the tournament, the girls played in a series of soccer scrimmages to showcase their skills and celebrate how much they had learned during the season.

“Events like these demonstrate the power of coaches in the lives of young people,” says Janet Carter, executive director of Team-Up for Youth, the organization that created Coaching Corps. Janet, who actually coached a YMCA team during the tournament, added “Without our Coaching Corps coaches, these girls would never have the opportunity to receive all of the life-changing benefits that playing sports provides.”

Peter Moravetz, the Coaching Corps program coordinator for San Francisco, the Peninsula and Marin said he has several amazing memories from the event, including seeing some of the smallest participants proudly sport their new league sweatshirts, even though they came down to their shins – and watching one excited mother join in to play a five-minute half against her daughter all while wearing some seriously impractical 2-inch heels.

“Overall, the event went extremely well,” says Moravetz,. “Afterward, parents kept approaching me to share how much the league has impacted their daughters, and that the tournament was such a fun event. One mom even asked how she could start coaching.”

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