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The City Journals

Soccer Program Fills Gaps for Kids During Summer Months

Aug 30, 2016 04:43PM ● By Brian Shaw

Kids from the Promise SSL after school soccer program are put through their paces before a big match. —South Salt Lake City

When school's out and summer is heating up the pavement, area kids don't have much to do that is constructive. 

So Promise South Salt Lake, along with help from Dry Creek Charity and the city, must devise ways in which they can keep kids out of trouble and off the streets. 

One way they're doing it is with a special after-school soccer program that is geared towards teens and designed to achieve the aforementioned goals and objectives. 

“They [Dry Creek Charity] were a huge partner to make it all happen for us,” said Dustin Permann, South Salt Lake recreation coordinator. “How they were able to help us with uniforms was really big.” 

With eight teams playing throughout the summer representing several community centers in and around South Salt Lake, competition was fierce but fun, according to Permann. 

The season lasted 10 games and culminated with a short playoff, in which the top four teams played in the first two weeks of August. 

In the end, the three-seed from the Nser Ser Moo Community Center shocked many by winning the title by the razor-thin margin of 1-0, according to Permann. He added that he feels the league was a good experience for those who participated. 

“The semifinals were really good and went to penalty kicks [for the eventual champion],” Permann added. “The regular season games were kind of fun and loose, but the playoffs were intense. Before the big championship game, you could tell they were ready to play.” 

With this being the first year that Promise SSL and Dry Creek Charity banded together to create a summer after-school soccer league like this for South Salt Lake youth, the plan is for Permann and his staff to try and expand the number of teams playing next year. 

Permann added that he felt the program was so successful and so many kids turned out, they plan to add several more teams to the mix next summer. 

“These kids, some of whom are refugees, lack some confidence in certain areas, but I really feel that it's beneficial they were out there this summer because they learned a lot about themselves and each other during this soccer league,” Permann said.