Olympic Touch In Rockford

Sports

It was every young girl soccer player’s fantasy at MercyHealth Sportscore Two Wednesday afternoon.

“I was excited because I got to meet Mia Hamm,” said young soccer player Ava Reese.

“I was excited because you got to see real soccer players that were from the USA,” said Haylee Gallas.

“I was extremely excited that I would get to meet some famous players that were like the best in the world at one time,” says another participant Maeleah Nuccio.

Kristine Lilly, Tisha Venturini-Hoch and Mia Hamm held a soccer clinic with their Team First Soccer Academy. The three of them have combined to win five Olympic gold medals, and five World Cups. Fast forward to today and now they’re impacting the game in a different way.

“We like to teach, so when we’re out there with the kids that’s when you see our passion, our love for the game, and how well we get along and how hard we work,” says Lilly.

“She teached us out-out, in-in with our feet,” says soccer player Ava Reese.

“I learned how to push it and then stop and then keep going faster,” says soccer player Raya Frye.

While these young athletes found the clinic to be a can’t-miss event, Hamm, Lilly, and Venturini feel their impact on future generations is just as important.

“The most important thing that we do with our camp is to get these young players not to just continue to love the game, but find confidence in themselves no matter what they choose to do or be,” says Hamm.

The Rockford Park District is doing it’s part as well with a huge expansion of the Indoor Sports Center at Sportscore Two. The Olympians were impressed.

“There’s going to be a ton of kids that will benefit from this facility,” says Venturini-Hoch. ‘I mean millions so it’s really great to see!”

“It makes me want to work harder and it gives me confidence,” says Nuccio of the camp and the new facility.
 

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