Since the beginning of July, Chicano Federation and the San Diego Loyal Soccer Club hosted one-week soccer camps for 100 children each week as part of the “Level Up SD” initiative.
Created this year by the San Diego Unified School District and The San Diego Foundation, Level Up SD, featured in-person summer activities offered by dozens of nonprofits in communities across San Diego. When the opportunity arose to participate, Chicano Federation called on their partners at the San Diego Loyal Soccer Club and together, they eagerly jumped on board.
“When we formed our partnership with the San Diego Loyal, we knew that we wanted to offer soccer camps, and of course, we wanted them to be at no cost to families,” Nancy Maldonado, President & CEO of Chicano Federation shared with GB Magazine. “We also knew that after everything that children have been through during the pandemic, we needed to do our part to make sure these types of opportunities were available to families over the Summer.”
The eight weeks of Kickin’ it with The Loyal summer camp took place at Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. Layered with the opportunity to interact with professional soccer players, the experience was nothing short of memorable for the hundreds of youth who participated.
The goal of the Kickin’ it with The Loyal summer camp was to provide San Diego Unified School District youth the opportunity to have fun while learning the fundamental skills necessary to play the game of soccer. The program focused on team building with skill development that was specific to age and ability.
“It was incredibly rewarding to see how much fun the kids who participated in the camp had,” says Lupe Flores, Director of Engagement & Impact for Chicano Federation. “It made my day to hear kids share how much they love soccer and that they wanted to come back for multiple weeks of camp.”
The program included transportation, snacks, and lunch at no cost. Each camper also received a soccer ball, camp t-shirt and tickets and food vouchers for a San Diego Loyal match.
And while this was Chicano Federations first time hosting Summer camps, it won’t be the last. The organization has plans to expand on this great opportunity and continue to make camps like these available to even more families for years to come.