"Build superstar people”: YMCA youth sports expand to King City

July 18, 2017

When Joe Gonzales thinks about the South County YMCA’s brand new outreach program into King City, he says it’s not about soccer.

“Soccer is just a vehicle,” said Gonzales, Executive Director of the South County YMCA.  “The Y does youth sports like no one else does.  We’re not here to build superstar athletes.  We’re here to build superstar people.”

The first YMCA youth soccer program in King City will run September 18 – November 11 at San Antonio Park.

Registration is now open.  On-site registration dates are:

  • July 19th 7:00pm – 8:30pm @ San Antonio Park (with FREE Soccer Clinic)
  • July 26th 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm @ San Antonio Park (with FREE Soccer Clinic)
  • August 1  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm @ King City City Hall (National Night Out free community event)
  • August 24  5:00 – 7:00 pm @ King City Rec Center (with FREE family night)
  • August 31  5:00 – 7:00 pm @ King City Rec Center (with FREE family night)

Youth Sports with the YMCA choose not to focus on competition, but instead on the fundamentals of the sport and the fundamentals of good character: teamwork, inclusivity and sportsmanship.

According to YMCA of the USA, The Y’s approach to youth sports is designed to intervene in the cycle of  violence by building strong communities, reducing toxic stress for kids and promoting resilience from a young age.

Starting this program in King City was a strategic choice in partnership with the City of King City as the YMCA model can support a community in need.

According to a March 2017 article in the Salinas Californian, “a rash of shootings in King City this year has generated renewed attention and response from the community that has long battled high gang-related homicide rates.”

In mid-February, there were six shootings in King City over eight days.  More high-profile shootings came in March with youth being shot near King City High School, reported the Californian.

Many of these incidents are identified as being gang-related, and the South County YMCA feels that the Y’s unique approach can help become part of the solution.

“The Y is for youth development,” Gonzales said.  ” “Everything we do is an effort to transform kids in vulnerable situations into positive role models in their own communities.”

To learn more about Youth Sports with the South County YMCA, visit our website or contact Lulu Vargas at 831.678.1239 or lvargas@ymcacentralcoast.org.