The Optimist Soccer League had its first 30-minute “practice and play” session for six-and-seven-year-olds on Monday at Jefferson Middle School
Optimist Youth Sports Program Director Daniel Levstek demonstrated a series of on field moves, naming each of them after an animal so that the kids could better memorize them. The kids would eventually get a chance to practice “the Lion,” “the Elephant” and “the Snake.”
Three teams – the Dragons, the Killer Bees and the Bobcats – participated in the sessions. Throughout the season, which ends in early May, they will be led by a team of volunteer coaches, many of whom are local high school seniors.
Dalton Flynn, a senior from Reagan High School, is one of the coaches for The Unicorns, one of the girls’ teams.
“I love it. I love little kids, so it’s fun. They’re funny and I get to be myself around them,” she said.
The Winston-Salem Optimist Club, one of 2,900 Optimist clubs around the world dedicated to “bringing out the best in kids,” has sponsored the soccer league, an affiliate of the Soccer Association for Youth, for more than 30 years. Optimist has been the launching pad for many soccer stand-outs. Many local residents have also served as league coaches and referees.
“There are kids that come out here just to have fun and to make friends, and there are kids that come out here for the competition,” said Levstek. “We want them, of course, to get out there and do their very best, but I want them to have a good time … doing it.”
To learn more about the program, go to wsoptimist.com or call 336-765-0655.