From Station Soccer youth training on the weekends, 12-year-old Kwaku found his passion through Soccer in the Streets’ community-based programs. He now plays for the College Park Westside program under Coaches Abu Tommy, Adnan, and Kiambi Yamani. Additionally, Kwaku continues to practice one on one with Coach Joel on the weekends at Station Soccer. He has been with Soccer in the Streets for two years while attending Georgia Cyber Academy in South Atlanta.
Training with Coach Joel at Station Soccer is where Kwaku began his soccer journey. But having access to MARTA is what allowed him to enjoy soccer at an affordable price without the added obstacle of needing his own means of transportation. Now, Kwaku can easily hop on a train to enjoy one-on-one training with coach Joel. But Station Soccer provides much more than a place to play.
Coach Joel has influenced Kwaku greatly in the soccer world, adding that he has improved a lot lately. His biggest improvement has been confidence in his decision making and general ball skills. He speaks highly of Kwaku’s confidence because, not only has he gotten better skill wise, but now he has the belief to try and experiment with different things.
Socially, he enjoys Soccer in the Streets because he is able to play soccer in a safe place with his wonderful coaches while meeting new friends. He has fallen in love with Soccer in the Streets since the beginning because of the atmosphere; the program has impacted him tremendously. So far, Kwaku has learned self-discipline, life skills and the ability to focus better.
In the classroom, he behaves better with his classmates and teachers. Kwaku also applies what he learns at Soccer in the Streets – respect, perseverance, and how to handle adversity – in the household as well. He is so passionate about his future and playing soccer at a high level that he even goes out to Station Soccer training on Sundays in the rain. He says, “I love soccer no matter what. I play in the sun all the time so what if there is rain, that shouldn’t matter.”
Ka Ntru, the father of the young soccer star, knows that Soccer in the Streets is where his son needs to be playing. He values that the program is beneficial to him, socially and physically. He sees that his leadership skills have improved inside the classroom and at home, too. As an only child, Kwaku values his relationship with his father. He is developing great discipline skills and Ka enjoys that Kwaku is learning important life lessons from these coaches. He has adjusted well from the Station Soccer training to the community-based program because of the fundamentals that coaches teach his son.