“Having all this be just amazing. It truly is. It’s a blessing."

When 10-year-old Katie switched to Free Footie from the Mill Woods community league that she’d played in previously, the first thing her mom noticed was the caliber of instruction.

On her old team, “they really didn’t have any coaches,” Angela remembers. “All it was was volunteer parents, and a lot of the parents didn’t know what they were doing. How are the kids supposed to dribble? How are they supposed to learn the game?”

Now, thanks to a new coach who played the game herself at a post-secondary level, Katie has found another gear both on the field—when she scored her first goal, Angela says, “I’m telling you, everybody in this whole field was on cloud nine”—and off of it.

According to her mom, Katie has always been a bubbly and kind kid. But thanks to Free Footie, she’s now also
much more confident when it comes to interacting with new kids and social situations. “She’s a little social butterfly now,” Angela says. “She can talk to whoever.”

There are lots of benefits to having her daughter playing in Free Footie, Angela says. But perhaps the biggest one is also the most obvious one: it’s all free.

“I don’t think parents have to go out and buy cleats,” she says. “It’s not as if they’re playing at a competitive level.

By them providing the uniforms and the shin pads and the socks, I think that’s a fabulous idea.”

She says that when her son plays league basketball, for instance, the fees can sometimes feel endless—from the various pieces of gear to the ever-mounting travel costs.

Free Footie, on the other hand, takes place just down the street from Katie’s school.

“Having all this be free,” Angela says, gesturing to the half-dozen games running full tilt in front of her, “is just amazing. It truly is. It’s a blessing."