WAITE PARK -- From learning to dribble a ball to scoring a goal, local kids are learning some new skills thanks to the Waite Park police department's summer youth soccer program.

The program is offered in two sessions every Tuesday and Thursday morning at Bartz Park from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and at 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Waite Park Community Service Officer Alicia Mages says the program is all about building community relationships.

"You know building that relationship with the kids and the police department is always a good thing and we're lucky to partner with the St. Cloud School district and Central Minnesota Youth Soccer Association." says Mages

Emily Willaert is with the Central Minnesota Youth Soccer Association and coach of the program. She says the kids are eager to learn.

"The kids are here because they want to be here. It gives them something extra so they come with a lot of excitement." says Willaert.

Throughout the sessions kids learn everything from basic skills to playing a few games.

"We're working a lot on dribbling, passing and shooting and learning a couple of cool moves they can show off. But mostly making sure they are learning proper techniques." says Willaert.

Mages says location plays a large part in the numbers they get and feel once they move to their original location by Discovery Elementary the program will continue to grow for years to come.

"We're hoping next year we can go back to the original location because it would be a lot more convenient for a lot more kids to just be able to walk there," says Mages.

Mages says if your kid is still interested in participating in the free program they can still join. The program runs until August 4th.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

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