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Kids Get a Kick Out of Blue Thunder

Cierra Kitt and Michaela Fosina love kicking, running and passing as members of the Norwalk Junior Soccer Association's Blue Thunder 10-and-under girls team. Friday, they learned it's just as much fun to share their knowledge.

Cierra, Michaela and their Blue Thunder teammates conducted a mini-soccer clinic at the N.E.O.N. Child Development Center. The players showed about 12 children ages 5 and under soccer basics. At the end of the session, Blue Thunder donated soccer balls and pinnies so the N.E.O.N. students can play whenever they want.

"It's fun to work with little kids,'' says Cierra, who is one of the Blue Thunder's offensive standouts. "We showed them how to possess the ball, how to dribble and how to pass." Michaela said that by the end, she thought the youngsters were beginning to acquire skills. "They don't realize how to play soccer yet, but they'll learn,'' said Michaela, a standout goalie. "They just have to keep practicing. They definitely understand how to play soccer. By the end, I think they learned a lot."

The mini-clinic was part of a community service project  organized by Blue Thunder coach Jeff Ortolano and team parent Karen Kitt. Each year, the girls select an organization to visit as part of their project. Last year, the girls went to a senior citizen facility and danced, talked and entertained the patients.

"It's all in line with Jeff's philosophy to develop well-rounded girls,'' Karen said. "I think it's nice that they're working with other kids this time. Maybe it will spark an interest in soccer."

The Blue Thunder have gone undefeated for three straight years in the A Division of the SouthWest District of the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association. N.E.O.N. (Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc.) provides economically disadvantaged residents a broad range of services to improve their quality of life.

If your child's sports team is conducting a community service project similar to the Blue Thunder’s, e-mail and let me know!

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