Football game at Erie Sports Park unites refugee children

The football game brings together young refugee children in the Erie community and teaches them valuable life lessons.

Learn more about Erie Sports Park’s efforts to help these children.

Refugee children in the area will be properly taught the basics of football which may spark their interest in the sport.

Refugee children in Erie are given an opportunity to be brought together as they are introduced to the sport at Erie Sports Park.

“We introduce these children to football. We’re giving them their first opportunity to play at a world-class facility and be trained by real coaches,” said Troy Bingham, owner of Erie Sports Center.

Around 100 children are present to learn the basic skills such as ball handling, turning and some coordination, but also other aspects that will be beneficial.

“We try to teach them that they understand how to listen to directions and work together as a team. So just some of the basics that will get them through life I think, but also some of the basics for starting football,” Bingham said.

The program aims to stimulate children’s interest in football and give them the opportunity to learn the sport for free.

“It means so much to us to be able to come into a first class facility. One of the nicest in the area. We believe our children deserve the best and this is an opportunity for us to build a relationship with that part that can outlast the growth of some of these young people,” said Gary Horton, director of the EF Smith Quality of Life Learning Center.

One child from the program told us that after today’s participation they will consider playing sports in the future.

“As I get older, I think I might do it,” said Jalen Phillips, contestant.

The owner of the sports park said that this is just the beginning and there will be more opportunities for the children.

“We will continue to work with different communities to create more opportunities. The other option is they can go to the site, register and join one of our free programs,” Bingham said.

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Bingham said the program will be expanded to introduce children to different sports.

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