Friday, 28 January 2011 00:00
The Mineola Portuguese Soccer Club and andGO Sports, Inc., have joined together to create “Soccer in the Community,” a youth soccer program in its first season, and even has star power with Carlos Mendes of the New York Red Bulls Soccer team on board.
Current Mineola Portuguese Soccer Club President Marco Da Fonte and Scott Knight, president of AndGoSports, organized this 10-week session of indoor soccer instruction.
The group has hundreds of young soccer enthusiasts from Mineola, Westbury and neighboring towns signed up for the 10 weeks of indoor soccer instruction thanks to the distribution of flyers at local schools.
The parents also had a sense of dedication and care from the staff, as they were signing up to deliver their children each night to the North Side School on Hillside Avenue. During the cold winter months ahead, “Soccer in the Community” affords these children a chance to be more active and not stay inside to play video games and watch TV during their free time.
Spanning four days a week, for three hours each night, each session lasts an hour long and tuition is $100 for the entire series, which will end March 12. Boys and girls attend on separate nights and the children are grouped according to age from 4 to 12 years old.
Class size was limited so that each child can receive individual attention from the coaches, who are all members of the Mineola Portuguese Soccer Club (MPSC), a semi-professional soccer team that has won multiple championships throughout its history.
Current New York Red Bulls player Carlos Mendes started out as a member of the MPSC before attending college and then turning professional in 2003. At a recent session Mendes brought along Red Bulls posters and his own team photo card to give out to the children. Mendes also spent time signing soccer balls and shirts and interacting with children and parents alike.
While this is the initial campaign for “Soccer in the Community,” it has built the foundation to become a successful program, not only in the Mineola community, to the communities that Da Fonte and Knight are looking to expand into.