Second Annual L.A.C.E.S. Youth Soccer Camp

Building upon the success of last summer’s Refugee Youth Soccer Camp, L.A.C.E.S. hosted its second Refugee Youth Soccer Camp at Total Soccer Arena in Landover, Maryland. The camp was held Monday, July 10th through Friday, July 14th from 9 am to 12 pm. Hosted by L.A.C.E.S. staff and volunteers, the camp focused on developing soccer skills while emphasizing five values of L.A.C.E.S. – Fair Play, Respect, Teamwork, Self-Esteem and Discipline.

L.A.C.E.S. was able to utilize both indoor and outdoor fields to provide refugee youth a safe and fun environment to play soccer with their peers. Forty-six refugee children ages 9 – 14 participated in the camp, with many newcomers as well as returning youth from last year’s camp. The children present at the camp represented 14 countries, including Rwanda, DRC, Afghanistan, Syria and Eritrea. Despite their cultural differences, many of the children made new friends throughout the camp, as noted by fourteen-year-old Rufin when describing his favorite part of the camp as “playing with my new friends.”

As an organization, L.A.C.E.S. is committed to supporting the resettlement process of refugee youth and advocating on their behalf. L.A.C.E.S. is honored to have had WUSA Channel 9 feature the Refugee Youth Soccer Camp on their morning show Friday, July 14th.   WUSA Channel 9 news visited the soccer camp to capture footage and interview some of the youth, which was especially exciting for the refugee youth as it provided an opportunity to show off their soccer skills.

With the help of stellar volunteers, L.A.C.E.S. was able to provide a memorable soccer camp and experience for participants. In addition to participating in the camp, refugee youth also received a water bottle, t-shirt and soccer ball so that they can continue to play the sport they love outside of the camp.