A FUN WAY TO LEARN
Many cheers arose from the crowds all day during Y Youth Soccer and Flag Football games, but none more resoundingly distinctive than “Go Purple Ponies!!”
That shout was definitely worth investigating. So we headed over to the Mites Soccer field.
Yes – that was exactly how four energetic and excited preschool girls broke the huddle before their final game of the season. In the age of Warriors, Strikers and Bombers, this team name was just fun and unique.
Coach Mark Linden said, “The girls wanted a fun name to play under and this one fit just fine.”
Thus the Purple Ponies were born.
Once the ponytails began to fly, the fun didn’t stop for an hour. All the preschoolers on both teams were still rookies to the game of soccer, but sure caught on quick to how fun the sport was. While the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA offers youth sports leagues year-round for kids from preschool through 6th grade, Mites Soccer is typically the biggest fan favorite.
“Seeing these kids running, kicking and playing is just so cute and enjoyable. They’re smiling and laughing the whole time, even when kicking the ball into the wrong goal. They don’t care about the score; Mites players just love the experience of playing and having fun,” said Sports & Rec Coordinator Morgan Knuppel.
No team in the Mites Soccer league was a goal-scoring juggernaut on the field, but players learned and developed fundamentals throughout the season.
Knuppel reflected, “Some kids showed up the first week shy and timid, but opened up and became more comfortable with soccer, and their team, as the season went on. Games were still chaotic, but you could see a lot of improvement by the end.”
The Purple Ponies were no exception. The girls said they learned how to pass the ball and be a part of a team, but the best part of soccer was kicking the ball in the goal… so they could get treats after the game!
The Y is a leader in offering quality youth sports, programs that discourage winning-at-all-costs and instead focus on fun, skill development, fitness, teamwork, fair play and family involvement. The purpose of Y Youth Sports is not only to teach skills more effectively, but also to teach children today to become more effective adults tomorrow.
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