City on the Pitch 2017
On Friday, May 19th, FSS held its second annual City on the Pitch event at the University of Delaware. It’s a celebration of and with all of FSS’ program locations and participants. In its 2016 debut, the event hosted 19 kids.
This year there were 68. Sixty-eight.
Right at the start as kids walked from the busses to the Stuart & Suzanne Grant Stadium, we felt our impact. One kid noted how green and smooth the field is — when I told him it’s real grass, he asked if he could do this (soccer) move, and that move on it. Later, another kid looking at the stacks and stacks of boxes and asked, “How can you afford all that pizza?”
Steve Cavalier, our Executive Director, explained he couldn't and that the name on his shirt provided the event and pizza for everyone.
The chaperones had a hard time holding the kids back while we
sorted t-shirt sizes and divided up teams. Luckily, YoUDee, the official mascot of the U of D Fighting Blue Hens, kept all of the kids engaged, and some of them completely mesmerized. Here's a write-up from the University, and a video.
Ian Hennessy, once again our generous host and the coach of Men’s Soccer, along with his team joined in the festivities. Having Ian and the players there helped to inspire the children to understand the importance of education and how sport complements that path.
Finally, to ramp the evening up to 11, Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union) and Delaware local (and FSS’ first ever official Ambassador) Mark McKenzie (Bethlehem Steel FC) showed up to speak to and inspire the children, play alongside them, and sign autograph after autograph after autograph… we’ve never seen kids get competitive over autographs before!
Every time we organize this event, we focus upon making sure kids walk away with a piece of something they will hold dear in their heads and hearts. We want the takeaway to be positive, inspirational, safe, and a whole load of fun.
These kids are stars. We saw smile after smile, courtesy, consideration, competitiveness, kindness, agility, enthusiasm, playfulness, and a lot of sweaty new t-shirts. For us, and hopefully them, this was a playday success no matter how you kick it around.
Take a look for yourselves in this slideshow.
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