By Kathy Chouteau
Youth soccer players from over a half-dozen local clubs gathered at Nicholl Park in Richmond on Tuesday night to receive free Chevron Soccer Academy “In A Box” kits, so they can indulge their love of the sport during a time of limited access.
The kits—part of Chevron’s partnership with the Open Goal Project—contain various gear the kids can use to play and practice soccer at home, such as a soccer ball, air pump, activity tracker, cones for drills and an agility ladder. Also included is a QR code that connects kids to free high-level soccer training videos typically provided at in-person Chevron Soccer Academy events. According to Chevron, this year’s training videos feature former and current professional athletes giving lessons on soccer skills spanning from footwork to shooting drills.
Youth ages 9-18 from an estimated eight to nine clubs benefited from Tuesday’s giveaway, according to 23rd Street Merchants Association President Gonzalo Ochoa, who helped reach out to the local soccer leagues regarding the donation. Ochoa was joined by the merchants association’s Vice President Rigoberto Mendoza and Secretary Rocio Martinez, along with Richmond Quakes Soccer Club coach Oscar Gutierrez, in organizing and distributing Chevron’s special take-home kits.
Expressing his appreciation to Chevron, Ochoa said “today is all about the kids,” and “coming together with Chevron to give the little boxes [to them].”
Chevron said it’s ’In A Box’ kits aim to integrate the drills, skills and fun of physical soccer camps into today’s socially distant new normal.
“Chevron is beyond excited to be bringing the Chevron Soccer Academy ‘In A Box’ program to Richmond during a time when the pandemic is still limiting access,” said Lily Rahema, community engagement manager for Chevron Richmond. “We know how many of our young people in the community love soccer, so it’s really thrilling to provide these tools and resources, keeping Richmond kids active, healthy and able to safely practice their favorite sport.”