"Soccer should be for everyone. In Brazil, it's the one thing that everyone has in common."
By angie argabrite, Neighbor
Jan 10, 2020 10:50 am ET | Updated Jan 10, 2020 3:28 pm ET
(Patch user submission) BLOOMFIELD, NJ — on Patch community.
Gisele Barreto and Mariana Ferreira both grew up in Brazil, where soccer is more than the national pastime, it's the national passion—obsession, even. So it's no surprise that they love the game. That love has translated into their life's pursuit: With their business, Brazilian Soccer Academy (www.braziliansoccerademynj.com), they are dedicated to sharing their passion for soccer with others—from tykes to grandparents—in their new home, Bloomfield.
"Soccer should be for everyone," said Gisele. "In Brazil, it's the one thing that everyone has in common, no matter their age, education or economic level."
"When we launched Brazilian Soccer Academy NJ, we had one goal in mind: to make soccer genuinely fun for everyone," added Mariana. "We live and breathe soccer, and we want to share that."
As they studied the soccer training experience for young players in the area, they were struck by what they viewed as often overly regimented programs. Several parents of players they trained were so taken with the couple's training methods that they asked if they could get training, too. Gisele and Mariana realized that no one was offering instructional sessions for adults; so they proceeded to launch a Tuesday-evening futsal group on Meetup that's aimed for adults to come and benefit from a session that's both fun and instructional.
The group meets Tuesdays, 7:30-8:30, at Brookdale Christian Church, 1350 Broad St. It has grown since the first session, when four members attended. Now the Meetup group (https://www.meetup.com/Soccer-...) has close to 30 members, and the Tuesday sessions (https://patch.com/new-jersey/b...) are attended by, on average, 10. Players range in age from 67 (Mariana's dad, visiting from Brazil) to 14 (some players bring their children), and each session consists of about a half hour of group instruction and a half hour of scrimmage.
I have been a soccer mom and assistant coach for my daughters' teams for many years. It wasn't till this past year, with Mariana and Gisele as our team trainers, that I thought I would like to give playing a try. I'm a beginner, but they have made it so much fun for all of us in the group—and it's amazing exercise!
It's just one way that Mariana and Gisele are working to make soccer more than just a sport—they want it to be a consuming passion. They are thrilled when they see people who have never played discover the joy of the game—or, re-discover, for those who played as a child but had long given it up.
It's another step in re-creating the soccer culture they grew up with in Brazil. For more information, visit www.braziliansocceracademynj.com.
Article at: https://patch.com/new-jersey/bloomfield/brazilians-want-show-soccer-not-just-kids
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