Sanneh Foundation provides summer campers with safe and FUN sporting activities
Since 2010, The Sanneh Foundation has provided free summer sports camps for nearly 40,000 youth in the Twin Cities and Metro area. While the pandemic has created many challenges, Sanneh remains committed to our mission to provide kids with a safe, healthy, and FUN camp environment. A summer without free community camps, with kids not being able to run around and exercise, was an option for Sanneh. But, we had to do something. Now more than ever, kids need to play. The summer camp season has ended and our young athletes are headed back to their virtual or in-person schools. Sanneh is proud to say that, despite the challenges, our camp season was a smashing success.
“It’s great to have an opportunity to get the kids out and play, especially during these times when they don’t have many chances to get out of the house. It’s also great to see how much attention they've put into keeping the kids safe and spread apart. My kids had a great time!”
- Parent of 10 year old camper
However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we had to adapt our training camps to ensure the safety of our community—our campers, parents, families, and our coaches, alike. Safety measures included (unfortunately) limiting the number of campers, maintaining a social distance of six feet, and providing each camper with a Personal Playing Area (PPA), a 10yd x 10yd clearly-marked grid, that served as each campers’ personal training workshop area. Because the health of our campers was our main priority, we could not allow large group gatherings, but campers still received plenty of safe social interaction from their coaches and peers.
“I feel really comfortable with them being here during a pandemic. I really like the safety measures that the camp has come up with. And my kids love it, it’s so nice to see my kids active this summer”
-Parent of kids at Taft Park Soccer Camp
Our Campers received a full and enriching summer experience. Every camper got a free soccer ball, a t-shirt, a cinch sack, and a snack everyday. Campers participated in many fun activities with a special focus on technical skills, such as dribbling, passing, shooting, ball control, footwork, and other movement-based exercises. The summer was an excellent experience for Sanneh coaches as well. Our passionate coaches were happy to pass on their knowledge and love of soccer.
"It was great to see the kids' abilities improve as the camps went on. It was a fun and exciting summer!"
-Andrew, lead coach
"I really enjoyed getting to teach other kids the game that I learned and loved as a kid. And seeing them enjoy it as well was awesome!"
- Faydane, lead coach
While COVID made things hectic at the start, the camp season went on to be a great success with 2,065 kids attending over 130 free camps and clinics in more than 35 different locations across the Twin Cities and Metro Area. We gave away over 2,000 balls, drawstring bags, and T-shirts. Training sessions were run by dozens of our passionate coaches, who effectively led over 8,000 hours of activity and exercise. Our coaching staff, composed mostly of high school youth, were also participants in our Summer Workforce Development Program—in partnership with StepUp (Minneapolis), Right Track (St. Paul), and Hired (Ramsey County). Our Workforce Development program aimed to give people work experience while also allowing them to contribute to their communities in a meaningful way.
“Working here was super fun. It was an awesome experience”
-Dhiraj, youth coach and Workforce Development participant
With so many kids forced to stay cooped up inside because of the recent pandemic, Sanneh is proud to have provided many Twin Cities youth with the opportunity to get out of the house and exercise without jeopardizing their health. Our ability to serve these kids is due, in no small part, to the efforts of our sponsors, coaches, staff, and the members of our community who continue to support us. We look forward to continuing our camps and enriching the lives of our local youth next summer!