Celebration of Life: Antonio Ayala

When Antonio Ayala’s soccer dreams were crushed due to a devastating knee injury, he was forced to reevaluate his future in the sport.

As one of the most experienced soccer players in his hometown, he decided to pass along his knowledge to the youth in his area.

Ayala created his own soccer camp for kids in his community from kindergarten through 8th grade. Ayala began his soccer camp before he entered his freshman year of college and would use the profit from the camps to help pay for his college tuition as well as give back to the soccer program.

Ayala worked with his local middle school’s food program for underprivileged kids who can’t afford to eat three meals a day. When more kids are added into the food program, the schools can buy more food to give back to the kids. Ayala fed all of the kids for the week without having to charge extra.

Ayala made an effort to keep costs down for the week in order to reach as many kids as he could without financial difficulty. “A lot of parents appreciated that kids could be active, learn, and pick up a new passion for the sport at only $75 a week,” he said.

The camp became a success, doubling in size from the first year to the second, and attracting kids from bordering towns.

His mother, Angela Ayala said, “Antonio loves instilling the passion he has for soccer in these younger athletes and he found this as a great way to support his community.”

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