The game of soccer in Pleasant Grove is something that has bound the community together. Saturday afternoons, families gather to cheer on their children, cousins, friends, and classmates as they take on the Gators, Mavericks, or Real Madrid, to name a few! Excitement is high as spectators cheer to the sound of “GOOOOOAL” and enjoy refreshments from the concession stand.
Not missing from the cheers is Miguel, a proud parent of his kids, Aaron and Samantha. Samantha and Aaron are playing their third seasons with The Salvation Army’s Victory soccer program, but this year, there is a twist – they are on opposing teams. Miguel was asked how he chooses which team to cheer for, and he stated “I cheer for both sides!” But what if Samantha and Aaron are in a face off?... “I cheer ‘Go Samantha!’… I want to encourage and motivate her.”
When asked if the “sibling rivalry” has had any impact on their relationship, Samantha replied, “It’s very difficult, but cool. It’s fun trying to beat [Aaron].” Aaron’s take on the competition is a little different, as he said with a wry grin “Playing against my sister is fun because I get to beat her team. We have a good relationship, so I can joke with her about winning.”
Now winning isn’t everything in the Victory Sports program. The first priority of the program is to teach the children teamwork and discipline. Volunteer coaches teach different skills and provide the kids with a safe, Christian environment where they can learn the game of soccer. Making friends and teaching respect is another focus in practices and games so the kids can take these skills with them into their regular life. And each practice and game players includes a time of prayer and devotion.
95 children strong, the Victory Sports program is growing and gaining greater participation from the community. With only six games left, everyone is excited to see how the kids and the program grow by next Fall! Check out our Facebook profile for more great pics of this program!