By Jimmy Marlow
TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Monday is the first session of Soccer for Success, a program that will give more than 1,000 at risk youth in the Capital Region an opportunity to participate in a free, after-school soccer program.
The program, led by the Troy Boys and Girls Club, is all about encouraging kids to be more active by teaching a sport that requires a LOT of running. Kids play three days a week after school for about an hour and a half. Any child from Kindergarten through eighth grade is eligible to sign up. While playing the world-wide sport, kids will learn life skills like healthy living habits, community focus, and sportsmanship and mentorship.
The program’s goal is to help kids make a connection between their own health and how the decisions they make with food and exercise will affect their bodies, helping them to make healthier life choices. The program had met with great success. 90% of participants who were categorized as overweight or obese improved or maintained their body composition. 72% of participants said the program helped them stay away from anti-social behavior, according to the Soccer for Success website.
The numbers show the program is already making a difference.