SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The San Diego Loyal Soccer Club is kicking off a new partnership with the Chicano Federation. The goal is to help provide kids in underserved communities with more opportunities.
The organizations announced their partnership Monday at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
"We are proud to call the Loyals a San Diego soccer team," says Nancy Maldonado, CEO of the Chicano Federation. "Even more proud of the entire team's commitment to social justice, equality, and investing in san Diegos under-resourced communities."
The organizations plan to make the game of soccer more accessible to all.
"One of the stigmas in US soccer is that it's become a rich sport, and it's unavailable to kids in the inner city," says Andrew Vassiliadis, Chairman of the San Diego Loyal Soccer Club. "We look to change that here in San Diego by providing camps to kids who may not otherwise get the opportunity to go to them."
Vassiliadis said the goal is to reach 500 kids this summer and thousands more down the line.
"My plan is to touch every kid at every school. We will get to every community in San Diego," said Vassiliadis.
Vassiliadis tells ABC 10News the club's plan is also to make smaller permanent soccer spaces around the county.
"We haven't really announced it yet, but we're going to start building futsal courts around San Diego," says Vassiliadis.
The plan is for the court to be built in coordination with the Chicano Federation.
Vassiliadis says the Chicano Federation reached out to them after seeing Loyal players walk off the field last season in the protest after racial and homophobic slurs were spewed towards some of the players.
"The San Diego Loyal's belief of speaking and acting in the face of adversity and standing for what is right is a belief that resonates with the Chicano Federation," says Maldonado.
The dates for summer camps have not yet been released. If you are interested the team asks that you continue to check their social media pages.