At Jenner Academy’s first practice of the Fall, when Coach Simba shouted out, "Kiss the soccer ball!" without first saying "Coach says" a few kids dropped down to give their soccer ball a big smooch, while the players who were listening attentively watched on howling with laughter. Playing new games like Coach Says (similar to Simon Says) have been a hit with the players, both new and returning alike, as they reinforce the fundamental skills in a fun and exciting way.
Mike Videira, a professional soccer player with the Chicago Fire, has also helped the Jenner team get off to a great start by volunteering his time at their practice. Mike shared his knowledge of the game and explained to the kids what it takes to be a professional athlete. Urban Initiatives is extremely grateful for Mike’s involvement with the Work to Play Program!
“Coach, Coach, Coach can I put my shin guards on? I am ready to play!” Dion Jackson, a 2nd grader at Jenner Academy, remarked on the first day of practice. Despite graduating a number of older players, the fresh faces on the Jenner team are carrying on the team’s legacy of playing with a "big heart". With Coach Sarah Byrd and Coach Simba Gandari stepping in as co-OSPDs – along with assistance from graduated players-turned-coaches Thomas , Isiah , Travis and Deshaundre – 2011-2012 promises to be a great program year for Jenner!