My favorite thing about children right now is that they’re not mine.
thanks for letting me babysit your kids so we can have epic dance parties, star wars reenactments and binge watch My Little Pony guilt free.
Okay, let me clarify. Kids are amazing. They are little sassy-pants without even trying. They like to have fun and play games and don’t stress about counting calories and paying bills. Personally, I’m not ready to have my own yet — but I was thrilled when United Sports Clinic of Jersey City, NJ reached out to me and invited me to their kiddie soccer program.
I get to play soccer with kids?
Fuck Heck yes!
Unfortunately, what I didn’t know was that these were the iron warriors of kids. These kids were in the gym like they were training for a decathlon … or American Ninja Warrior or something!
Abraham, clearly kicking my butt in wall squats.
The program was started by Juan Cajina and Juan Fajardo as a means to provide inner city kids with more extensive training than what most general sports program offers. With their own children involved (and some already graduated) in the Jersey City school system, the two local dads knew that the kids did not have the same resources that kids from suburban neighborhoods or private schools might have.
Coaches Juan (Cajina), Juan (Fajardo), and Ivan.
They just started United Sports Clinic back in December 2016, but have been coaching in Jersey City for over 10 years.
The clinic started off as a family project (of sorts).
“The whole family came together to work out. We are a very fit family, but we started working out, just meeting up a local parks and such, and then we eventually brought our older kids with us. It was through all different type of training that started noticing a difference and improvement [in sports performance]” Cajina states.
He explained that it was important to invest in the athletic future of the children early on. If athletic programs aren’t offered, many kids will go elsewhere.
“A lot of kids leave to go to other areas. They go to West Orange, Teaneck, and Hoboken because they have programs we don’t. We should be growing our kids here, in this community” Juan described.
And it’s true. Locals will register their children in programs from other areas, even if they aren’t free. Parents naturally will want to have their kids in the best sports programs available. But why shouldn’t that be in your own home town?
The great part about it all is that the children have a blast. All I did as an adult was complain that my legs were sore and that working out sucks.
“Oh, they love it” Cajina described. ” They have so much fun. They will be so tired and still ask for more at the end of the class.”
That is a seriously winning attitude. I believe that at this point of the class I pretended to need more pictures so I could take a breather.
Cajina and Fajardo really run a worthy cause. They are not charging any kids for the sports program. They are looking into the paperwork for filing to form a nonprofit organization. The program will get anywhere from 10-12 kids every time and are always growing. Currently, they are also getting kids from the Jersey City Hispanic Association Soccer league.
Besides soccer, they also have private training classes for baseball, basketball, and football of which all the information can be found on their website, www.unitedsportsclinic.com
I am truly grateful to have been able to spend the evening with such talented athletic superstars!
But, I do have to mention, I think a few of children were trying to give me a a run for my fashion blogger status.
Joshua, 6, in his blogger best – Adidas superstars and super-hero chic socks.
Tatianna Cajina, 11, with clearly more of a flare for athleisure than me.
Maybe if I went to a few more of their classes I wouldn’t have been so winded, and probably would have looked more coordinated.