Summer Soccer Makes Its Comeback
Founded in 2008, NBT'sBobadilla Summer Soccer Academy made its comeback this July, after being on hiatus last summer due to COVID. The Soccer Academy was a welcome return for New Brunswick students, who have been out of social settings with their peers for more than a year during virtual learning and the cancellation of many out-of-school programs and activities.
With morning Zumba to get the day started, followed by a constant rotation of soccer playtime and enrichment activities, a new goal for the summer camp this year was to ease the re-entry to in-person learning in the fall for participating students. Participants built positive relationships with each other as teammates and strengthened skills in discipline, commitment, teamwork, and communication, while they were also building relationships within their community. Each summer, the summer soccer camp attendees partake in community service projects. Whether it is a car wash, graffiti cleanup, or arts and crafts with senior citizens, the kids learn about the importance of being of service to one’s own community.
And while the kids give back to the community, the community also gives back to them. Speaking about the community’s involvement in the camp, NBT Board of Trustee and Police Captain Mike Bobadilla said, “I believe it’s critical for the community to work together to make quality of life for kids better. In the summer, they often need something to do. Without some structured activity, they can get into trouble so I love what this camp provides for our kids. And it’s all thanks to our sponsors.”
Additionally, the Rutgers Women’s Soccer Team donated their time and talents both this summer. These talented ladies provided expertise in soccer techniques, scrimmaged with the campers, and served as excellent role models for our campers showing how they can include soccer in their futures in high school, college, and beyond.
New Brunswick Tomorrow has been the camp’s most stalwart supporter; however, we do not do this work alone. This year, we’d like to thank the City of New Brunswick, New Brunswick Cultural Center, the Youth Advocate Programs, New Brunswick Police Department, the Players Development Academy, Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health System, Costa Chica Restaurant, New Brunswick PBALocal 23, and Carl Branciforte for contributing their resources, donations, time, and/or staff members. We would also like to thank Elijah’s Promise, Barça City Cafe & Bar, Tavern on George, and Jersey Mike’s for providing lunches to keep the kids energized to go for the goal.
We are so proud of our students, junior counselors, trainers, and staff members for showing up every day and working hard! We would also like to senda big thank you to Captain Mike Bobadilla for his time and dedication, and for being exemplary in his example of what it means to give back to the community!