Goal to teach smallfry to play soccer at park

Denise Rheault and son Thomas, 3, get details (and coffee) from Michelle Diaz, Braddock High School senior, at Kendall Soccer Park.

Kendall’s fast-growing Soccer 5 mini-complex is expanding for a younger crowd. Through partnership with Miami-Dade’s Parks Foundation, the Soccer 5 program will offer free instruction to encourage interest among smallfry, ages 3-8.

“Its part of an effort to continue popularizing the sport in the U.S.,” explained Scotland-born Scott Georgeson whose father, Alan Georgeson, helps guide the effort at the Kendall Soccer Park off SW 127th Avenue near Kendall Drive.

The Georgeson family initiated Soccer 5 in the U.S. by installing and opening four reduced-sized soccer fields that have encouraged Kendall teens and adults to form teams and play competitively in age-grouped leagues.

“We opened the soccer fields only 18 months ago in August 2010,” the younger Georgeson recalled. “Now we have over 1,000 teens and adults in five-on-five, six-onsix and seven-on-seven team leagues, mostly playing at night throughout the week, as well as weekends.”

Soccer 5’s latest venture is a contribution by its non-profit Soccer 5 Foundation, offering a free “Soccer & Kids Academy Program,” designed to introduce “soccer basics, just to let a youngster get the feel of a ball, kicking, dribbling, juggling and shooting,” Georgeson explained.

“Using the smaller-dimensioned five-by five venue, it’s much less intimidating than a regulation field, much like the Quick-Tennis program that introduces the sport on a smaller court. Bounce-back boards and netting keeps the ball under better control, as well.”

Initially, the program will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays “but we’ll expand to add extra times or days, as the interest may indicate,” Georgeson said.

Instruction by professional coaches is set to begin Monday, Feb. 13, with the program available for public elementary schools wishing to incorporate beginning soccer into existing after-school programs. Schools may reserve up to two mini-fields weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. free of charge, depending upon availability. (For details, call 305-393-5230).

The Georgesons also have begun a Soccer 5 Academy that includes advanced instruction, lunch, refreshments and a Soccer 5 shirt. Then academy operated as an eight-week summer camp and continues winter activities for its members.

One of the largest soccer complexes in South Florida, Kendall Soccer Park offers five fullsized fields in addition to the 5-by-5 facilities operated through a partnership program with Miami-Dade Parks Department.

This has been an asset to the community, providing valuable and professional soccer training and facilities, said Jack Kardys, director of Miami-Dade Parks.

For more information, visit online at www.soccer5usa.com/miami.

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