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Succeeding on and off the fields and courts,

through the sports of soccer & volleyball

Winter Recap & Spring'ing Forward for Sports & Play!

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As more kids join, more days of play have been added. It also means, for the first time, Director Leti, and her team of 10 former players, now Coach Mentors, separated the group by ages & skill levels, like the 4-7-yr-old “Serve-ivors” and the 16-18-yr-old “Court Hogs!" Beyond Volley’s names are a bit more creative than soccer! The model has been working and parents and players can’t get enough. “Beyond Volley has brought smiles back to my baby’s faces. They come home excited after each clinic. Thank you coaches for all you do.” - Maxine, Parent


Director, Leti determined that the Club pathway was necessary for her talented players, who deserve opportunities to take their skills and passion for the sport to the next level. This USA Volleyball affiliation, which included months of training and certifications, means increased exposure to new places and people. More college program connections too. Yes, club sports are extensive, but that’s why #Beyond exists, to ease families’ financial burdens and be the bridge. More in Rumbo

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Because we’re now able to refocus on our off-the-field-and-court priorities in our expanded space, Academic Overtime has started its comeback. Twelve 12 students, and growing, are already getting academic help in specific subjects every day of the week. Equally as appealing is that many of the tutors are older players in our programs who have excelled in the classroom and want to pass their knowledge on to younger players, like Diaralis pictured here. The weekly scheduling is even being organized by Sr. Coach Mentor & Admin Assistance, Esme Inirio!

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Winter Futsal engaged 125 kids every weekend

As part of our commitment to offering year-round play for kids as young as 4 and through high school, we run fast-paced futsal. We're so grateful to the 11 #CoachMentors who made this happen, plus our friends at the YMCA & YWCA for the gym space, as we search for a replacement home for our SportCourt! Remember, we want to develop more sports sharing spaces!


In-school enrichment = more kids joining after-school sports

Today, our 5 in-school partnerships mean more chances to recruit kids into our year-round clinics & teams. Already, 12+ Arlington Public School students, pictured above, have joined. Ps, this pic is from a 35-degree day. Can't you tell they want more play?! We expect these in-school efforts to impact 500 LPS students by the end of the school year. #TeamEffort


"Seeing the kid’s faces as I teach them what my coach taught me means everything..."

"Only if we all came back to our city to mentor and give back to our youth.” -Jean, Jr. CoachMentor. In addition to ensuring 143 youth were able to play and develop their volleyball skills, these year-round clinics are a key venue for #leadershipthroughsports 10 Coach Mentors made this 14-week, 4x/week program possible, supporting Director, Leti’s #BeyondVolley vision!

We sponsored high school boys & girls teams in Essex County Futsal @ Pingree!

Off-season programs that expand kids’ access to sports #beyond Lawrence are precious, like Essex County Youth Futsal League. Every Sunday, 2 teams of high schoolers competed against area towns in fast-paced futsal. Most importantly, it’s an excellent space for mentorship, team play, and continued connection for kids to further develop their love for sports & physical activity.

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There's so much to highlight with Beyond FAB. It provides weekly support & mentorship so that our girls can develop stronger social-emotional learning skills that support their mental and physical health. They learn about healthy routines and goal-setting and meet with female guest speakers who share their journeys and answer their questions. We’ve had quite a lineup of recent guests, including Stephanie Nunez, who focused on self-care. Mabel Valenzuela spoke about overcoming tough obstacles. Lismari Valdez provided a student-athlete perspective, and Diana Estrella addressed the importance of self-love. This program has been prioritized as we hear more regularly from our girls about increased bullying and other mental health concerns. That means providing a supportive, nonjudgmental environment for them to open up, journal their challenges and find comfort in others' ability to deal with similar obstacles is super crucial. #TY to everyone involved in this weekly #BeyondFAB program that runs every Saturday!

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Esmeralda, or “Esme,” is being spotlighted this quarter because she represents everything good about sports, mentorship, physical activity, and teamwork. Esme joined us in late 2010 as a member of the first Gr. 6 Bulldogs Lawrence Travel Soccer Team. She's pictured above from the fall 2011 season! Now a senior at Umass Lowell more than a decade-plus later, she’ll graduate next month with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Spanish, plus a minor in Psychology. Today, she works 3 days a week as our part-time Administrative Assistant and Sr. Coach Mentor, having gained several years of experience as a Summer Coach Mentor, an ongoing. She helps us keep this dynamic organization “organized!” Her next step is an anticipated spot in Merrimack College's Masters in Athletic Training program. She credits these education & career interests to her meaningful sports experiences. “Being part of this program has opened many doors and pushed me into the future destined for me. I got to experience life from many points of view, not only as a student but as an athlete and a youth leader through the summer job program.” “My goal is to use my experience and knowledge of sports to impact athletes in the workforce, just like the “Beyond” family has impacted me.”

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I am a 17-year-old LHS junior, and I have been involved with Coach Leti since the 7th grade. I am thrilled to be part of Beyond Volley’s 1st Club Program, which has already meant two recent travel tournaments. The last two summers, I was part of #Beyond’s youth jobs program, and this January, it earned me a school-year Coach Mentor role, instructing the 12-14-year-old No Diggity group on Wednesdays and Saturdays. "Nothing is better than seeing these kids fall in love with the sport I also fell in love with and being part of their learning experience. They don't only get to learn from me, but I also get to learn from them." In addition to teaching kids volleyball, I contribute to “Academic Overtime,” where I tutor 2-3 middle schoolers. I also participate in Beyond Fit and Balance, a go-to support system for me every Saturday afternoon with many of my teammates. However, this summer, I won’t be working for Beyond, but that's because I will be partaking in the CURE Dana-Farber Cancer Research Internship starting in a few weeks. This internship, which runs through August, means so much to me and my future. I want to be in the medical field and become a geneticist. Through this internship, I will benefit from hands-on experience, so I know what it's like to work in a hospital and contribute to clinical trials.

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Here is Mike Newhall, pictured with our #team from Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group, a philanthropic partner supporting our mission in different ways for many years, like financial literacy sessions, Notre Dame Academy intern support, and volunteerism during Lawrence Sports Leadership Academy. He surprised us with a check to fund the buildout of the multi-purpose #BeyondFIT area of our new program and operating space at Riverwalk, which now includes a track #running down the hallway, plus turf for fitness and yoga to ensure kids in Beyond #FAB and other related health, wellness, and leadership programs get necessary on-&-off-the-field-&-court support. It’s a must, and Sentinel came up big! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and a special shoutout to Everyone’s A Player, which funded all the gym equipment through its annual golf fundraiser for Lawrence sports! #TogetherIsBetter!

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Some of the #action install pics of the new turf, thanks only to Sentinel's generosity!

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When Mia Hamm Foundation's generous support arrives, we’re immediately transported back to why we launched. In 2007, there was no travel soccer for girls in Lawrence, and our early work was all about changing that. U.S. Soccer Player, Olympian, and icon, Mia Hamm, motivated those efforts, including the formation of the City's first girls' team, and to think her non-profit now sustains our work, is almost unfathomable. #TY, Mia, and #team, for all that you continue to do for millions of girls who not only looked up to you during your playing days but benefit today from your off-the-field commitments. We will continue to “Play for her!” Mia Hamm the #GOAT

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What are Soccer & Volleyball Directors Leti Valdez & Chris Marin most excited about?

"This year has already been amazing, and we’re not even halfway in. However, that’s not to say that 2022 hasn’t been full of challenges as we push for more active, healthy play options and play spaces. Our goal is to continue growing and reaching more kids who don't have as many options, and that’s why I am especially looking forward to our first Buddies Tournament, which The Club team will host for middle schoolers next month. It’s aligned with our focus on making sure older kids give back. Also, Volleybond in June will include a day of community service and a full day of competition and family fun that kicks off our summer activities, including a new Back-2-School Hangout Tourney that's being designed to increase an athletes’ chance of getting selected for their H.S. teams. And, of course, while all of this is happening, we won't forget about our non-stop, year-round clinics! Everything we do is to create stronger bonds and improve the level of volleyball in our City, all while having fun. I'm #beyond proud of our team. It takes a village!" -Leti, Beyond Volley Director.

"I am most looking forward to the continued growth of Lawrence Youth Soccer, with travel team and recreational registrations pouring in since March for the current spring 2022 season. As we add more CoachMentors, including Junior Coaches, or high-school-aged players taking the fields, and coaching the youngest players in Grades PK, K, 1st, and 2nd, more Lawrence families will benefit from quality mentorship and soccer instruction. I anticipate May & June being busier than ever, with more hours of soccer added, which is great as Leti & I plan for a busy summer!" - Director of Soccer Development, Chris Marin.

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"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team."

– P. Jackson 

Thanks for being part of this #teameffort!

Stephanie McArdle, Executive Director &

Paul Wennik, Board Chair

pictured with #CoachMentor and long-time

former player, Melissa

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