“Teamwork, leadership and commitment”
These are three core tenets that distinguish good athletes from extraordinary athletes. These three tenets are the core values honored by DC SCORES poet-athletes every time they get onto the field or into the classroom.
This summer at Tubman Elementary School, campers were given the opportunity to transform these values into actions on the field in a two-week long soccer intensive camp.
When you step onto the field, you become witness to their dedication to demonstrating these values simply by the way the campers show respect to their counselors and to their fellow campers in scrimmages, drills and teamwork exercises.
They pick each other up in moments of error. They tell each other “it’s okay you’ll get it next time” or “let me help you” and cheer each other on no matter what side they may be playing on.
Newcomers are welcomed with open arms by campers and counselors alike who may have racked up a year or more with DC SCORES. Returning DC SCORES poet-athletes and coaches waste no time at all familiarizing new players with how sportsmanship is conducted before throwing them into the swing of things.
Photo by Ahmed Ahmed
“It’s always so refreshing to get kids who haven’t played with us [DC SCORES] before but still come out day after day and bring the same positive attitude onto the field,” says longtime DC SCORES coach and counselor Mark “Popsie” Lewis.
At Tubman, Coach Popsie and several other counselors had the pleasure of meeting a handful of non-DC SCORES participants who really brought their all to the camp.
“Tsga (a non-DC SCORES participant) is someone who really embodies our values of teamwork, leadership, and commitment,” says Coach Popsie. When I see a player harness those three values I think that’s something really special. It defines them from a team player into a leader.”
Despite the scorching summer heat, campers still made it out onto the field each day of camp to play their hearts out not because anyone asked them to but for the love for the game, and maybe for the free food at the barbecue on the last day of camp.
Photo by Ahmed Ahmed
Some of the more experienced campers, including incoming DC SCORES alumni, play on Coach Popsie’s soccer teams that compete in the area on a regular weekly basis to keep them active during the summer season.
“I’m glad I stuck with it. Coming back to Summer SCORES after the fall and spring seasons gave me a chance to keep working on my skills and made me become an overall better player. I feel more confident about getting out there and playing,” says DC SCORES Camper Antonio V.
While camp at Tubman wrapped up one thing is clear, year after year, Summer SCORES continues to bring kids together from all over DC, to participate in a game that bridges gaps and communities and makes everyone feel more connected to each other. There’s nothing better than that.
To learn more about Summer SCORES click here.