Tag Archives: crown heights

Soccer for Harmony

2 Dec

Do you think every child should get to play organized soccer? You can make that happen in central Brooklyn at the heart of the obesity epidemic for scores of children. Support the first-ever Crown Heights Soccer Eagles league by attending Soccer for Harmony on Sunday, December 18: a day of soccer, fun, healthy food and music. There will be a holliday flea market and cook-off featuring local chefs and artisans at PS 221, in addition to soccer games for both adults and children!

The event honors Christopher Rose, a promising child stabbed to death at the age of 15 in 2005 when a gang of youth tried to steal his friend’s iPod. We honor his memory and others like him who died too young from violence. This is a very special event to prevent more sad stories like Christopher’s.

Seeds in the Middle and Hip2B Healthy was founded in the fall of 2009 under the pretense that there were limited opportunities for neighborhood youth to play organized sports in Crown Heights, or or affordable ones at that. Public funding had dried up and parents were working hard just to make ends meet. They worried constantly about the lack of activities and safety of their children. “Seeds” programs are now making healthy choices easy, accessible and affordable to all.

The first-ever Crown Heights youth soccer program – for all children – also started in fall 2009. Since it’s inception, they have engaged more than 500 players, ages 4-14, and parents for up to 3 days a week at low cost or, for those in need, for free. Now in training are the first team members of the Crown Heights Soccer Eagles  – under the leadership of former professional player, Joe Cabral, of Sporting Lisbon (Portugal), who trained at the same academy as Cristiano Ronaldo, Figo and Nani. Indoor programs start in December and they are planning to have a full program for the spring.

I will be posting as more details arise, but Seeds in the Middle will be looking to include a number of people in this event:

-Local Artisans: Show Crown Heights what you have to offer!

-Chefs: Support Seeds programming and show off your cooking at the tasting tables!

-Soccer players: Sign up to play in this one-day tournament! Groups will be split by age/gender.

-Sponsors: There are a number of opportunities for sponsorship on banners, t-shirts, the Seeds website, and more.

Please email all inquiries and interest to seedsinthemiddle@gmail.com

Fighting Childhood Obesity with Soccer

12 Nov

On a Saturday afternoon in Crown Heights, you’ll see a lot of different things. You’ll see men and women walking to synagogue, past storefronts that are closed for the day. You’ll also see groups of questionable young men gathered on corners, small children playing on the sidewalks, heavy car traffic on the avenues. There was a lot of activity last weekend when I volunteered with a local soccer clinic, and I couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast between such different groups of people living in the same neighborhood. But, as I learned, this is how it is now in Crown Heights. And it is good.

I was headed to Hamilton Metz Field for my first experience coaching kids for a soccer clinic. The program is run by Seeds in the Middle, a great non-profit organization in the neighborhood that is fighting childhood obesity and offering sustainable healthy options through a variety of programs, including the soccer clinic. Kids in kindergarten up to 6th grade can sign up to participate in a season long program led by Coach Joe Cabral and a rotating list of dedicated volunteers who love the game.

For 4-5 hours that afternoon, I got to dust off my turf shoes and show off some of my rusty old, 28-yr-old soccer moves to a very pleased audience of 7-10 year old children. More importantly, we ran around and taught them some basic soccer skills while having a lot of fun. There was laughter, supportive cheers, and intense one-on-one situations during our scrimmage. It was a good day and we all learned something; the kids got a little better with their penalty shots, and I learned that some 8 year old girls are deceivingly strong and can kick a ball hard enough to leave a mark!

If you’re looking to relive your days as a high school soccer superstar, or just love the game and want to share your knowledge, sign up to volunteer with Seeds in the Middle and the Crown Heights Soccer Clinic. It’s an amazing program that is led by a coach who is dedicated and excited to see it succeed.

Contact Nancie at seedsinthemiddle@gmail.com for more information about how to volunteer. Click the “Upcoming Events” calendar on the right to see when the next clinic is happening.

Kickin’ It with Kids: Soccer-loving volunteers needed

7 Oct

Seeds in the Middle is a nonprofit organization in Crown Heights inspiring social change through sustainable health.  One of their many programs is a youth soccer league, and it currently could use a few extra volunteers for the fall clinic. So dust off your cleats (or just your sneakers, whatever you have) and head down to the pitch at Lefferts Avenue!

In addition to teaching kids a sport you (hopefully maybe) love, there’s the potential for you to gain something most coveted in NYC: full field 11v11 games either before or after one of the weekend sessions. That’s right, free full field soccer in NYC! This is a win-win opportunity for any soccer-loving volunteer!

So, the current time slots are as follows, running now until Thanksgiving:

3:30-5  Co-ed, K-Grade 2 (Oct 1-Nov 19)

3:30-5  Co-ed, Grades 3-6 (Oct 1-Nov 19)
5-6       Girls, Grades 3-6  (Oct. 6, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17)

1 – 3     Co-ed, Grades K-2 (Oct 1-Nov 19)
3 – 5     Co-ed, Grade 3 & Up (Oct 1-Nov 19)

1 – 2     Girls, Grades K-2 (Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20)
1 – 2     Girls, Grades 3-6 (Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20)
2:30-3:30     Adult/parent pickup (Oct 1-Nov 19)*
4 – 5     Boys, Grades K-2 (Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20)
4 – 5     Boys, Grades 3-6 (Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20)
*Please note that pickup games are free for volunteers, but non-volunteers will be asked for a $10 suggested donation to help subsidize the Seeds youth program.
Field Location: Albany/Lefferts Avenues, Brooklyn (3/4 train, Kingston Ave)

If you’re interested in volunteering, please email your availability and contact information to Zoe at zoeschw@gmail.com

Seeds in the Middle is an organization based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn which aims to inspire social change amongst school age children, beginning by improving their health, enhancing arts education and greening their environment. Their mission is to create sustainable health and battle the childhood obesity epidemic, which is prominent in Crown Heights. For more information about their programs and how you can get involved, visit their website