By Belle Nelson
For the first time in the city’s history, recreational soccer will be making its way to Kyle.
It’s a dream idealized by Sonny Guadarrama with the Austin Professional Preparation Academy (APPA), who has played soccer at the professional level for more than ten years.
For Guadarrama and his brother, Willy, the program is the end result of their father’s dream to train kids on how to play the beautiful game.
“A lot of [my] inspiration comes from my father,” Guadarram said. “His dream was to train kids as frequently as possible.”
Kyle’s recreational soccer program, which is sponsored by Central Elite Management and hosted by APPA, is currently holding training camps for the recreational soccer league. The season begins in March.
Guadarrama said he is excited to bring soccer to Kyle.
A two-time All American, Sonny grew up in north Central Texas playing soccer through high school and college before going pro and moving to Mexico to play professionally.
But it was four years ago when Guaderrama took an interest in giving back to the community.
At that time, the Guadarrama brothers began looking for ways to give kids the opportunity to pursue soccer who normally wouldn’t be able to.
When Sonny’s parents moved to the outskirts of Kyle, it became clear to him that soccer wasn’t readily available to most of the youth here.
“To pursue soccer, parents would have to drive long distances to get their kids involved,” Guadarrama said.
With the recreational soccer program, Guadarrama hopes to give back to the community the same opportunities he was given.
“It’s a chance for kids to grow alongside their [peers] in a safe, fun environment.”
Sonny also hopes that by providing an outlet for youth in the community, families will have an opportunity to come together, whether it’s on the field or at home.
In addition, he added that soccer “taught me discipline” and how to “achieve goals and how to dream.”
“Parents get to be a part of their kids lives, and kids get to see their parents take an interest in them,” Guadarrama said.
In Guadarrama’s experience, a lot of kids who get involved in recreational soccer display better behavior because they have a constructive outlet for all of their energy.
Guadarrama said they have the opportunity to stay out of trouble, and they also have something to look forward to.
“Regardless of what sport kids are playing, studies have shown that they’re more likely to go to college…and have higher paying jobs,” Guadarrama said.
Although Guadarrama is passionate about soccer, it’s about giving kids the opportunity to succeed. Keeping costs down for players is also important.
With a coaching staff with over 60 years of combined experience, Sonny is excited about the “endless positives” recreational soccer will bring to Kyle.
“We’ve tried to keep this cost effective…and have a lower price than our competitors,” Guadarrama said.