Playing soccer at recess. Playing soccer at home. Playing soccer on the Xbox and a returning player at Free Footie. If soccer isn’t Jaylin’s favorite activity, we don’t know what is.

“We love Free Footie!” Speaking with Jaylin’s mother, Jackie, who immigrated to Canada from St. Lucia. She explains why both parents are extremely grateful that their son has the opportunity to do more of what he loves, with the people he loves. “the program is perfect, because it allows me to have Jaylin doing what he enjoys, until I get off work and can pick him up after. Plus it is very expensive for so many other after school programs”. However, the most important thing for Jackie is the way Jaylin’s eyes light up every time he is about to go to a Free Footie session, “he gets very excited!”, Jackie emphasized.

When we met with Jaylin to interview him, he had two of his friends with him, Kevin and Kaleb. They all were laughing, joking and playing games. You could recognize, Jaylin is enjoying himself surrounded by his friends. So we asked the question: “Has Jaylin always been like this?”. Jackie explains, “we have a motto in our home: just maintain a positive attitude and keep on smiling”. Jaylin practices this motto every day, at any chance he gets and has really conquered the art of connecting with others. “I get to hang out with my friends!” Jaylin expresses on why he likes the Free Footie sessions.

Besides working on his craft of making new friends, Jaylin always challenges for the role of the goal keeper in his team, as he has “never been nut-megged” he confidently states in our interview, and he plans to keep his record for as long as he can.

Seeing Jaylin happy and confident, “I recommend and hope more kids have the opportunity to be a part of Free Footie!” Jackie adds at the end of our conversation.

As for Jaylin, he can not wait to start the new season to do more of he loves. Making friends and playing footie.

Written by: Shervin Hajami