By Melissa Greco Lopes
Members of the University of Rochester’s Varsity Women’s Soccer team spent the morning of Saturday, Sept. 29, sharing their knowledge of the sport with more than 90 young girls from around Rochester during the Girls Rule Soccer Clinic. Designed to empower young girls and get them excited about playing soccer, the free event brought girls of varying levels of soccer experience to Fauver Stadium for a morning of shooting, passing, and juggling.
After they practiced a variety of drills, members of the women’s team coached participants as they put their new found skills to the test during mini scrimmages. Campus tours were offered after the clinic and participants were encouraged to return to campus in the afternoon to cheer on the varsity squad as they played Brandeis University in their first University Athletic Association game of the season.
The clinic was created by members of Grassroot Rochester, a student-driven initiative at the University’s School of Medicine and Dentistry that is committed to empowering and educating young people through participation in organized sports. Last spring, Grassroot Rochester member and third-year medical student Michael Barnes connected with student-athletes on the varsity soccer team, and Deon Rodgers, president of River Flow Soccer Club, to plan the first clinic. It drew nearly 35 girls from school districts across the area, including the Rochester City School District and Brighton Central School District. Barnes says the group intends to make the soccer clinics a sustainable effort that can be offered throughout the year, creating more opportunities for girls to play soccer.
Additional sponsors include the Department of Community & Preventative Medicine at URMC, which encourages medical school students to engage in community service activities, the undergraduate Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, MVP Healthcare, and the Athletics Department. To see more pictures from the camp, visit Grassroot Rochester on Facebook.
Article written by Melissa Greco Lopes, editor of The Buzz and student life publicist in University Communications. Photos courtesy of Michael Barnes, Grassroot Rochester.