Excitement is kicking up at Northridge Elementary School as it prepares to launch a brand-new soccer club. The mission of the club is to provide students with an opportunity to participate in a popular sport while promoting teamwork and good sportsmanship. In addition to developing new athletic abilities, students will cultivate important life skills that extend beyond the soccer field.
Fifth grade teacher Carly Hillmer decided to start a soccer club at Northridge after she noticed how many students were passionate about the sport but were not playing on an official team. “We have some awesome players whose only exposure was watching their parents and older siblings play, watching it on TV, or playing at recess,” said Hillmer. “I realized how little was known about playing at a higher level and thought it would be a great opportunity to bring something that I love and have played my whole life to the students I teach every day.”
Beyond soccer skills, the club aims to instill important life skills and values in its young players. Hillmer plans to teach students about the social and emotional aspects of sports which are crucial for young athletes’ growth as both players and individuals. “I want to show these students that there is an aspect to all sports that involves not only skill, but also a component of respect and hard work. That will be the thing that gets them far in their sport,” Coach Hillmer emphasized.
Initially, the soccer club will be open to 4th and 5th graders, with the potential to include 3rd graders in the spring. “I’m going to be taking different grade levels at a time,” said Hillman. “My thinking is that they play at recess together so this way they can hold each other accountable for the rules during the school day as well.”
The soccer club starts September 12 and will follow a 6-week cycle for each grade level. Weekly sessions will blend skill-building activities and friendly scrimmages, culminating on the last day with a students vs. parents game.
All students are welcome to participate, regardless of their soccer experience. Hillmer believes that a mix of skill levels provides valuable leadership opportunities, especially at a younger age when it’s less competitive. According to Hillmer, “Part of being on a team is learning to play with people of various skill levels and develop as a team as well as individual players.”
Hillmer’s lifelong engagement with soccer, from recreational leagues to participation in Boulder County’s prominent soccer club, exemplifies her passion for the sport. With high school, college, and Division 1 coed league experience, Hillmer brings invaluable insight to the club.
The Northridge Soccer Club isn’t just about goals on the field; it’s about nurturing skills that transcend the game. As students dribble, pass, and score, they’ll also be learning about teamwork, leadership, and respect – lessons that will serve them both in soccer and in life.