The Soccer School
The Union Ajijic soccer school was started in January 2013 with the mission of providing a way to channel youthful energy in a positive direction. It was founded by the Patronato de Futbol, Ajijic, an elected group of five people who are responsible for the soccer resources (fields, equipment, etc.) in Ajijic. Since the inception of the program they have recruited coaches into the program and enrolled more than 80 kids. The school is free and available to all.
The kids show up to the intense practices five days a week. They never complain and are never late. In exchange for playing time, they have to bring their grades up. But while they bring plenty of dedication, they need financial help. Up until recently they were playing without uniforms, the soccer balls were splitting at the seams, and the training equipment had seen better days.
Over the last few months, with the help of the ex-pat community, they have gained additional financial and moral support. A Bring-a-Ball program yielded not only a dozen new soccer balls in its first week but also an eager new audience to cheer at the games. A group of people who were members of the Inside Lakeside online forum provided the funds to get uniforms for the kids. One of the members, Ivan Woodburne, started to organize ongoing financial support from the ex-pats. A very generous donation by Jim and Deb Wilson has allowed the school to buy training equipment.
But of course there are on-going expenses, travel to other teams, referees and league fees, etc. which the school hopes to cover on an ongoing basis by adding some stability to the financial support. They also want to enroll more kids, and help them all achieve a positive identity and attitude.
If you would like to be a part of this amazing program, come to the games and donate a little if you can. Soccer is a Mexican passion tightly woven into their culture and this type of program is repeated in villages along lakeside. Support your local team. It’s a great opportunity for the ex-pat community to support the village kids and make a real connection with them at the same time.
Check-out UnionAjijic.com for more details about the school, the kids and upcoming games. You can contact webmaster and fundraiser Phil Rylett via the website too. Or join our Facebook group, Union Ajijic.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com