MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A group of kids is enthusiastically kicking a soccer ball, playing a scrimmage of “sharks and minnows” at Coconut Grove’s Armbrister Park after school program. The kids are taking part in these free clinics held by “A Soccer Life Foundation.”
The founders of the foundation are twin brothers Sebastian and Daniel Mateu, who attend Ransom Everglades.
“My brother and I started this foundation at the end of 9th grade with the idea to help the soccer community in South Florida,” Sebastian Mateu stated.
The foundation leads 10-week clinics as a volunteer program, working with kids who may not get the chance to learn the sport.
“Soccer is my passion, I play on a club team I play on my school team,” Sebastian Mateu said. “Whenever we come here, and walk through the doors and tell the kids to get changed, they get really excited.”
The goal is to introduce kids to soccer who may not have the opportunity, teaching the basics and having a good time.
Constantino Guerini is another volunteer soccer player. He has a good idea of how the little kids are doing.
“Some of them just like to play here for fun, some of them don’t really like to play soccer but have a good time, and some of them really like to play soccer… like Christian.”
Christian Martinez is a ten-year-old who is learning all the right moves.
“I pass the ball, shoot, control and run,” he said.
Guerini describes Christian as quite humble, but on the field he’s a “monster” who is really fast and really good. Christian likes to follow in the footsteps of famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, saying he likes “the way that he controls the ball and the skills” and says his dad makes him try to be like him.
Christian will now get to play a lot more, as the foundation recently awarded him a $1,000 scholarship to help fund a spot on the Miami Breakers.
The teens hope to grow the foundation and mentor as many kids as possible while picking up some valuable lessons themselves.
“This is our second year in a row, and we have all been really fortunate and benefited from the experience. I’ve become a much better communicator and become much better at working with people,” Sebastian Mateu said.
For more info on A Soccer Life Foundation, please visit ASoccerLifeFoundation.org.
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