This September, Kennett High School’s boys’ soccer team traveled more than 60 miles to share their passion for sports with underprivileged students through the MVP360 Program in North Philadelphia.
MVP360 is a program that offers youth who would traditionally be excluded from organized sports the opportunity to experience all of the advantages of team sports, including their physical, social, emotional, and academic benefits. The program is an instructional and developmental league that focuses on skills, teamwork, and character, not on winning, stats, or individual accomplishments. Each session is designed to enhance the playing experience for all skill levels. With a focus on education, wellness, and fitness, MVP360 creates community connections for youth and their families.
When Coach Mike Barr challenged his team to spend part of their weekend sharing their love for soccer, they jumped at the opportunity. The Kennett High School team assisted during games, stopping play for special “teaching moments” where they helped children develop a better understanding of the sport. The team also spent time mentoring the young athletes, acting as role models while encouraging them to continue living a healthy lifestyle.
Senior captain Pillip Martinez found the experience to be very rewarding. “I enjoyed being able to see another community firsthand,” he says.
Junior James Tuley was grateful for the opportunity to make a difference He says, “It was amazing to see how much the kids enjoyed the session. It was a new experience that taught us to never take for granted being able to play a sport we love every day.”
“It’s important to challenge high school students to step out of their comfort zone,” Coach Barr states. “Through the MVP360 Program, my team not only helped to build the confidence of the underprivileged youth, but they also built confidence in themselves, which will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
“This is what makes the Kennett Consolidated School District so unique,” adds Coach Barr. “Students never back down from a challenge and they jump at any opportunity to help others.”
Coach Barr and his team plan to participate in MVP360 again later this year. The Kennett High School Blue Demons are currently 4-3-1 and looking to improve their already winning record.