Burien’s New Futures Scores Big With Youth Soccer Program

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by Ralph Nichols

Just as it is for all soccer teams, the fall season is winding down players in a soccer program conducted by New Futures and the Greater King County Police Athletic League. But this is the first year for the soccer program, which was organized to fill a void for some young people.

The seeds for this program were planted by young people served by New Futures who “expressed an interest in soccer but did not have the means” to participate, said Katie Mason, a youth program coordinator for the agency at Woodbridge in Boulevard Park.

Burien-based New Futures also operates at The Heights at Burien, Windsor Heights in SeaTac, and Arbor Heights in White Center to provide on-site learning programs for low-income children and youth in the Highline School District and their families, directly serving nearly 1,600 people.

Despite their interest in soccer, these students lacked the family time, transportation or financial means to play in an organized program, Mason noted. So the New Future’s youth program coordinators decided they would give the 12-17 year old kids a chance to play soccer by starting their own league.

Still, they couldn’t do it alone, so New Futures turned to the Greater King County Police Athletic League (PAL), a volunteer organization that provides activities for at-risk youth and allow them personal interaction with law enforcement officers.

With a coach from PAL and another who is a parent volunteer, two teams of about 50 Highline youth, both boys and girls, practiced once a week and played once a week at Chelsea Park in Burien and North SeaTac Park.

Their first season, says Mason, has been a “success. I think it’s gone pretty well. There have been a few kinks on our end. We could use more field time and more parents or community volunteers to coach. But the kids really enjoyed themselves.”

Both New Futures and PAL are considering the possibility of winter soccer. And, she adds they would like to use their program “to get these kids started playing, to improve their skills,” and then feed them into other leagues where they can continue playing at a higher level.

PAL hopes to involve these soccer players in the Starfire League’s indoor facility in Tukwila and eventually get a team in La Ligas, a regional Latino soccer league.

For more information, check out New Futures’ website here.

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One Response to “Burien’s New Futures Scores Big With Youth Soccer Program”
  1. Julie Burr says:

    This is exactly what our community needs- positive activities for our youth. Belonging to a soccer team will help them feel a part of something, and teach not only soccer skills, but discipline, respect, team work and all kinds of other skills need for a successful life. Great job New Futures! Julie Burr, Highline School Board and New Futures Development Committee

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