The sunny, 70-degree morning started with lots of anticipation and excitement for the nearly 200 kids in attendance, all of them ready to show off their soccer skills at Audi Field, home of DC United and Washington Spirit.
As the families entered the stadium, they were greeted by DC United defender, Chris Odoi-Atsem, and former USWNT and Washington Spirit player, Joanna Lohman, who each were ready to take pictures with the kids and sign autographs.
Joanna then kicked off our soccer clinic on the pitch at Audi with an inspirational message about the power of sports to teach kids valuable life skills that will stay with them throughout their lives.
GW and Georgetown Women’s Soccer Teams took the kids through a 60-minute soccer clinic that included stations for dribbling, passing, and defending skills, while PCA trainers held a station dedicated to teaching kids positive leadership principles and teamwork skills.
The clinic was capped off by three young athletes scoring break-away goals while DC United play-by-play announcer, Dave Johnson, and Georgetown Men’s Soccer play-by-play announcer, Dan Helfrich, entertained the crowd by calling each goal as if they were broadcasting a game.
After the clinic, all the families filled up the stands at Audi Field for the awards portion of the event. Over the next 45 minutes, PCA honored amazing members of the DC community helping to positively develop kids through sports.
First up was this year’s PCA Double-Goal Coach Award winners. Casey Miller, PCA’s Vice President of External Relations, presented Coach Herman Harried (also known as Coach Tree) of Lake Clifton High School, and Coach Jaired Stallard of Capital City Little League, with their Double-Goal Coach Award.
Coach Tree was described by those that nominated him as a coach who “talks to his team, shares experiences, and instills in them life skills. He has those ‘father-to-son’ talks about relationships, academics, and doing better for themselves.”
Coach Stallard's nominators wrote to PCA to tell us, “what's amazing about Coach Stallard is that he brings strong technical capacity and love of the game with an encouraging approach to meet players wherever they happen to be developmentally.”
DC SCORES, a nonprofit serving over 3,000 kids across the district annually through after-school programs, giving all those kids the confidence to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life, was honored as PCA’s Community Impact Partner of the Year. DC SCORES Executive Director, Katrina Owens, was there to accept the award on behalf of the organization.
PCA’s Excellence in Leadership Awards winners, Joanna Lohman and Dan Helfrich, were next. The Excellence in Leadership Award is given to those in the community who help to elevate the PCA message and further our impact.
Author, activist, author, and coach, Joanna Lohman, uses the platform sports have given her to positively impact people around the world. She serves as a Sport Diplomat, traveling the world and running programs in less developed nations that promote gender equality, conflict resolution, cultural understanding, and economic development. She is a leader in social justice and partners with organizations around the world to advocate for inclusivity, equality, and gender equity, working alongside groups like the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and SMYAL and is an ambassador for the Women's Sports Foundation, DC SCORES, and Athlete Ally.
Dan Helfrich, CEO and Chairman of Deloitte Consulting, earns his leadership credentials daily by leading an $11B, and growing, business with a team of over 70,000 people. A father to four kids active in youth sports, Dan is committed to Positive Sports Parenting. He has jumped in to help elevate the Positive Coaching Alliance mission by hosting webinars with highly successful coaches, athletes, and authors, to promote positive, character-building leadership principles.
We loved hosting this event to appreciate our amazing community leaders. Check out some of our favorite photos!
Photos taken by Steven E. Purcell
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