Soccer Kicks Off in Childs Park

Landon Donovan. David Beckham. Pele.

These soccer greats all had to start somewhere, and with the world’s most popular sport coming to the Childs Park YMCA (CPY), a future superstar could very well kick off his or her journey right here in St. Pete.

“This is a new venture for the Childs Park YMCA,” said Deborah Figgs-Sanders, executive director of the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg Childs Park Branch.

Deborah Figgs-Sanders, YMCA Executive Director, Childs Park

Deborah Figgs-Sanders, YMCA Executive Director, Childs Park

The CPY soccer program is an excellent opportunity for the community’s youth to participate in a team sport at a very reasonable rate, Figgs-Sanders explained. She believes this experience will provide both boys and girls a great physical workout and a fun way to exercise.

Though the official early registration ends Feb. 14, registration will continue until the first practice. Teams are grouped by age (3-4 year olds and 5-12 year olds) and the number of teams will depend on how many children sign up. Each team will only practice one day a week (Mon-Thurs.) and the games will be held Saturday mornings. The season runs from Feb. 24 to Apr. 19.

“Since soccer is a team sport, children will also have the opportunity to learn how to work together as a team toward a common goal with an emphasis on sportsmanship,” said Figgs-Sanders, who has been executive director since April 2010.

She affirmed that the Childs Park YMCA has always advocated holistic life skill experiences for the youth participating in its programs.

“This soccer experience will encourage leadership, respect for one another and parental engagement,” Figgs-Sanders averred. “Hopefully, everything that the children will gain will positively impact them for the rest of their lives.”

  • Ages 3-4: $45 member, $70 non-member

  • Ages 5-12: $60 member, $90 non-member

It is free for families who participated in the 2013 YMCA Neighbor to Neighbor Christmas Program. Based on household income, families may be granted up to an additional 20 percent discount on fees. A $15 City of St. Petersburg Resident card is also required. Jerseys and chin guards are included in the cost.

Contact Childs Park YMCA at (727) 209-9622 for more information. To reach Frank Drouzas, email

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