In today’s society, there is still a definite need for an outreach to young female soccer players that do not have access to traditional soccer clubs. Soccer is mainly focused as a suburban sport which consequently leaves a large number of girls without opportunities to involve themselves in soccer. Therefore, there is a need for free soccer clinics to continue providing an opportunity to the areas that need to be reached.
Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla hosted her fifth annual STORM soccer clinic for girls on June 25th 2016, in Walnut Creek. Each player was given a free t-shirt that headlined, “Taking the World by Storm” the aim of the clinic was to give an opportunity to girls who want to either begin involving themselves in soccer or to continue building their soccer skills. However, Susan also wanted to express to the girls the importance of building confidence not only in their soccer skills, but during their education and daily lives.
To fulfil their experience, California Storm players worked alongside Bonilla. Storm Chief Executive, Bailey Rippley lead the Storm organization. By providing players to lead the drills and stand as women role models for the younger players, there was an incredible sense of enjoyment that filled the atmosphere of the event while the 90minute coaching commenced.
The soccer clinic featured Olympic and World Cup Brazilian National Legend, Sissi Do Amor. Sissi continues to play for Jerry Zanelli, Head Coach of California Storm. Sissi also coaches at Walnut Creek and stands as both a role model and inspiration for women’s soccer across the world. Sissi brought with her an impressive monument, her 1999 FIFA golden boot award that she deservingly won after scoring 7 goals in the 1999 Women’s World Cup. During the clinic, Sissi coached a group of girls alongside Brazilian National Teammate, Marcia Taffarel. After the session, Sissi stood in front of the players and parents to discuss her life as a player and the impact soccer has had on her life. She expressed to the young players how important it is to follow your dreams. After speeches were made by Sissi and Marcia, the Storm players also shared motivational words to the attendees.
While the Storm players coached the 6-14 year olds, there were also opportunities to learn for the parents and attendees off the soccer field. The clinic was fortunate enough to have informative booths from Susan Bonilla, California Storm, Walnut Creek, Kaiser Permanente, John Muir Health, UCSF Beinoff Children’s Hospital and Herritage Soccer Club. In addition to the booths, demonstrations were also provided. One demonstration that was most popular regarded the prevention and rehabilitation of the ACL ligament. The demonstration allowed parents to educate themselves on one of the most common injuries in soccer. More so, Dr. Ronald Wyat from Kaiser Permanete, Dr. David Hong from John Muir Health and Dr. Ryan Sargent from UCSF Beinoff Childrens hospital volunteered their time to the clinic to talk with parents and also demonstrate important health procedures.
The clinic would not have been possible without the help of the sponsors. Many thanks to Kaiser Permanete, Wells Fargo, Pacific Gas and Electric, Phillips 66, UCSD Beinoff Childrens Hospital, Mt. Diablo Recycling, John Muir Health, Walnut Creek Soccer Club, Herritage Soccer Club, All Quality Graphics and California Storm. Their help allowed the players to gain a once in a lifetime experience.
“We thank Assembly member Susan Bonilla for making the event happen. This is just the beginning of what we consider to be a league wide program that will enable young girls the opportunity to learn about soccer. Especially in areas that are not being reached out to. It is our 5th annual event and we continue to see great turnouts. In the future we look to host in more areas that need exposure to soccer opportunities like those that we gave in Walnut Creek and Vallejo.” Said, Jerry Zanelli.