On Sunday, December 2nd, DNDA, in partnership with Athletic Director Curtis Wells and Smilow Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club, successfully hosted its first 1st annual One Love Youth Soccer Tournament, a co-ed neighborhood competition for youth participating in DNDA’s High Point and NewHolly Summer and Fall programs. The early morning tournament brought over 125 youth (ages 6-13) representing NewHolly, High Point, Rainier Vista, as well as Somali Health Board Youth Soccer Team, to the Smilow Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club for a series of matches with the enthusiastic support of near 60 family members in attendance. One Love Youth Soccer Tournament signifies a tremendous amount of growth since we last brought news to you about tournament exhibitions between High Point and NewHolly in 2017 and NewHolly and Somali Health Board Youth Soccer in August 2018.
Starting in the summer and continuing into the fall season, players spent numerous hours in weekly practices learning the rules of the game, sharpening their skills in supervised scrimmages and drills, and developing a sense of camaraderie and team identity. While the objective of each successive practice was to provide youth an opportunity to grow as players, the overarching mission was to facilitate an experience and environment that provided youth an opportunity to develop new friendships, deepen existing bonds, and create lasting memories as a community throughout the summer and fall.
Although Somali Health Board Youth Soccer team walked away with the honor of being the first One Love Youth Soccer Tournament Champion, the tremendous amount of growth, perseverance, and grit displayed by NewHolly, High Point, and Rainier Vista players at every practice and in every match deserves high praise and recognition.
The first-ever One Love Youth Soccer Tournament was a great success, thanks to the hard work, sacrifice, and dedication exhibited by parents, coaches, community partners, coordinators, and volunteers. One Love felt much more like a community gathering than a sports event, and the occasion served as a shining example of the power togetherness and genuine relationship-building can have at all levels of community. From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank everyone involved at every facet of the experience, and we look forward to serving you and your community in the years to come!
Intale Shuba, DNDA AmeriCorps VISTA