Virginia Legacy Soccer Club

Sometimes All That's Needed is a Little Guidance and Direction

 

Nine years ago Howard Wallace and Betsy Dunivin, two staff members at James River Elementary School wanted to create some afterschool activities for the kids in Grove, one of the neighborhoods that feed JRES. Teaming up with Jonny Kamara and Al Albert from the Virginia Legacy Soccer Club, they started a soccer activity group that quickly moved from the Grove Community Center into the JRES facility.

 

Now the JRES "Community Partnership" program is the cornerstone of the Legacy’s overall CP program, which gives over 250 children from eight elementary schools the chance to play soccer after school. The Legacy, with help from a generous grant from the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation, provides after school bus transportation for practices and a no cost soccer experience within their recreational soccer program. This program is a tremendous help for those families who could not provide their children this opportunity because of work conflicts and transportation issues.

 

Two of the youngsters from that initial group at James River, Sherlandra Buskey and Aaliyah Lyttle, have become two of the better players to come out of the Virginia Legacy. Buskey has been a star forward at Goucher College in Baltimore for the past two years, after starring at Jamestown HS, and Lyttle is poised to lead her Jamestown HS team into the postseason playoffs after winning the Bay Rivers District for the past two years. Lyttle has been a starter since her freshman year and hopes to also continue playing soccer in college.

 

"There is no way that I would even being playing soccer if it wasn’t for the program at James River" says Lyttle, who volunteered her time the last two weekends to help coach current CP players on Saturday morning. She hopes to inspire other players to follow her example.

 

Sherlandra  Buskey 

Community Partnership Alumni

 

Albert, formerly the head men’s soccer coach at W&M would agree. "So many of the talented kids in the community don’t even think about playing what is the world’s most popular team sport. We knew that kids like Sherlandra and Aaliyah would love playing if they were given the opportunity and encouraged a bit."

 

Another volunteer coach for the program is Andy Jacobs. "As Principal of Matoaka Elementary School, I am always searching for programs and activities to enrich and extend our students’ learning.  The Community Partnership program has provided a wonderful outlet for our students that have not, and most likely would not, have the opportunity to learn about the sport of soccer.  At the same time, we are able to cultivate school pride by being a member of school team and improve wellness and fitness levels for our students that participate."

 

Click here for more information about the Community Partnership Program.  Please contact the Virginia Legacy if you’re interested in coaching a team next year, or would like to contribute in any way to helping the Community Partnership Program grow.

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