By Aniaya Reed
The main objective for soccer is to score goals, win. However, Finesse Soccer founder Carrie Fry Robinson, believes it is more than just winning. She strives to empower young girls using soccer.
In 2010, she decided Finesse Soccer would make a change by giving young girls an opportunity to play, and grow their skills in the most popular sport in the world. She holds summer camps and year-round soccer clinics for young girls in the Kansas City metro area.
“Kids are quitting sports at alarming rates due to various reasons, and so our goal is to keep girls in the sport of soccer by providing them skills training, and other opportunities to improve their game, but really at the core of it is to provide girls a fun environment to play soccer,” Fry Robinson said.
Fry Robinson recently held two clinics at the Boys and Girls Club of Kansas City at 2405 Elmwood Ave. The first session was on May 12 only for girls, and the second session was on May 23, which included a mother-daughter clinic.
Kary Kankey, Director of Healthy Lifestyle, helped organize the clinics alongside Fry Robinson.
“The response was amazing,” Kankey said. “The kids loved it, the moms loved it. We provided the kids with free soccer balls and the mom with free t-shirts.”
The clinics and summer camps are available for young girls from kindergarten to eighth grade. She plans to hold future clinics to continue to provide opportunities for young girls to play soccer.
“If you haven’t played soccer and you’re younger, we hope during one of our pre-clinics we’re able to introduce players, like the girls at the Boys and Girls Club, to the game of soccer, so they know what it is and they see how fun it is,” Fry Robinson said.
During and after the pandemic, kids were limited on options to stay active. Organizing the clinics encouraged social and physical mobility.
“We want to get our kids active, especially with COVID a lot of sports leagues were shut down, and this helped them get moving. It empowers them, gives them confidence, and increases female participation in sports,” Kankey said.
Fry Robinson was honored with the Kissick Construction Game Changer award in 2019 for her passionate role in women’s soccer, and continued efforts to change the future of the game. She exemplified the true spirit of the sport as a advocator, supporter, promoter, and champion of girls’ and women’s sports, the award stated.
“We collaborated with the Boys and Girls Club,” Fry Robinson said. So, we provide those [clinics] at no cost, as a way to expose more players to the game of soccer and extend our reach into the community. Soccer has really become inaccessible to a lot of people because of the nature of how certain clubs are run. So, the pricing prices people out.”
Her vision has reached young athletes locally and nationally. In addition to being an independent soccer training academy, her unique training programs have provided a safe, fun approach to teach and inspire the younger generation of future women.
“We have kids from all over the metro area; Topeka, Wichita, Lawrence,” Fry Robinson said. “We have kids from Springfield that come to camps. Last year, we had kids from five different states come to our summer camps.”
Finesse partnered with Athleta, a women’s fitness apparel company, in Kansas City to hold a free soccer clinic inside the store.
“When you come to our clinics you’ll receive technical training, a positive coaching environment and an all-female environment that will help empower girls when they go back to their teams,” Fry Robinson said.
For her players, soccer is not just a sport, but a time to develop character, make new friends, and become part of a revolution in women’s and girl’s sports. Finesse Soccer’s upcoming camps are June 13-16 and June 20-23. The camps are $250. Players can sign up on their website: www.finessesoccer.com.
“We are using soccer to empower girls to be brave, strong and powerful,” Fry Robinson said. “That’s one of the key phrases we use because sports can teach so much about life. Be your best, train with Finesse.”