My Y Story – Ping Du

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. I realized how fun it is when I had the opportunity to volunteer as an assistant coach for kids soccer league at the Y last Fall and this Spring. I saw kids playing, talking and making new friends with each other, the kids and their parents all enjoy being outdoors and having a wonderful time!

Being part of the kids soccer league at the Y has been an amazing experience! There were lots of fun moments I would like to share: During one game on Thursday, our team played with blue team, I wanted to let our team win so much that I encouraged one kid: “kick it hard!” she listened and did it, guess what, the soccer ball hit one player of the blue team and bounced into our own goal! Everyone laughed, except me. In the next game, I told each kid on our team: “As long as we try our best, it does not matter if we win or lose.” I hope they will play pure soccer without thinking of the scores. There were sweet moments as well: for 4-5 years old kids, each time there are 4 kids playing for the game, the other kids stand behind the field line. Some kids may have the patience to watch the game, too often they will talk with each other or simply play on the ground. One time, a kid picked a few wild purple flowers and gave them to me, that moment made my heart smile! I distributed the lovely small flowers and asked the kids to please send them to their moms, I hope the little wild purple flowers will make their moms’ hearts smile.

Each kid is different: one boy is always so calm and quiet, it amazed me how he behaved like nothing had happened after he scored, while all of his teammates were cheering for him! His mom told me he was just too shy. One little girl is completely the opposite: she started to dance and sing happily after she scored one goal, which brought lots of joy to the parents beside the soccer fields! On the tournament day, a little boy told me it was his birthday, I was so happy to know he could celebrate his birthday that day! He even asked me: “Why are you here?” I told him: “Because I like outdoors and I like being with kids.”

As a volunteer for the kids soccer league, I had the opportunity to work with the Y staff, I witnessed how much work and effort they put in to make the soccer league a pleasant experience for both kids and the parents. From organizing teams into different age groups, to order and distributing the team jerseys; from drawing the fields lines, prepare the field goals to coaching kids. So much work has been done by only 4 to 5 Y staff! They are truly outstanding!

There’s no doubt the kids soccer league gives kids, parents, coaches wonderful experience and sweet memories. The kids might develop lifelong hobby and make new friends; as a volunteer I also learn and grow in the league.

Thank you, YMCA!