Tribal Youth Participate in Soccer Clinic
Gila River Indian News
Gila River Indian Community’s Tribal Recreation and Wellness Center (TRW) hosted an inaugural soccer clinic for ages three to 15 at the Sacaton Fairgrounds, from 9 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 27, in hopes of sparking interest in TRW’s very first soccer league.
52 youths from GRIC and other tribal affiliations attended the event, which covered the rules and included age-appropriate drills and team-building exercises. The league starts March 30, and participants won’t have to travel outside of the Community because games will be held at the Sacaton Fairgrounds.
In addition to drumming up interest among youth, another goal of the clinic was to train officials on an easier sport and gradually prepare them for handling other games, according to Sonja Luevano, District 1, TRW recreation manager.
“[The soccer clinic] is just to introduce the game to the kids and then we will move them into our league in March,” Luevano said. “We wanted to start introducing something in the Community where we can train officials and get them going easily.”
Coach Michael Luevano, recreational coordinator for District 4 and Major League Soccer (MLS), said communication, consistency and life skills are important in sports, and he noted he was glad “to see the Community youth come together and meet new kids and see parents communicate with each other.” While leading a soccer drill at the clinic, he added, “As a team, when we work together, we are stronger.”
Huey “Duane” Guy, youth sports coordinator for TRW, said this is the first time that the MLS will sponsor uniforms for a youth sports league in the Community.
Sabrina Dupris, a Tohono O’odham Nation member, brought her son, Chayan Gonzales, 7, to the TRW soccer clinic. Dupris said she saw the flyer online and wanted her son to learn the basics and have fun. “Soccer is his number one sport now,” Dupris said. “He loves it, so we figured we’d bring him out.”
To register for the TRW soccer league, visit mygilariver.com and click on the Tribal Recreation and Wellness tab under “District Announcements.” For information on becoming an official with TRW, call (520) 562-6087.