Kimura and Hoban mentor kids at Friends of the Children event, smiles abound

Helping some of Portland's most vulnerable kids helps create opportunities

Kosuke Kimura, Friends of the Children, 9.26.12

Photo Credit: 
Photo by L.M. Parr

Over thirty kids from Friends of the Children joined Portland Timbers defender Kosuke Kimura and Timbers Alumni Ambassador, Mick Hoban at the adidas Village for a free soccer clinic last Wednesday.

The kids participated in various soccer drills led by both Kimura and Hoban and put their new skills to use in a friendly scrimmage afterwards. Burgerville made a splash with the kids by offering free lemonade.

Friends of the Children is a program that provides long-term mentors to kids across Portland threatened by gang violence, teen pregnancy, or dropping out of school.

“The commitment that these mentors are making is amazing,” said Hoban. “Sports help keep kids focused. I am happy to have the opportunity to coach [these children] today.”

For Kimura, the commitment to mentoring runs deep as he can often be seen spending time long after Timbers training sessions have finished to work with younger players. This is due in part to Kimura's older brother having had a big influence as a mentor when the Timbers defender was younger.

“Not everyone is so lucky," he said. "That is why I am happy to be here today. I want to be able to give back through sport as long as I am healthy and able."

Terri Sorenson, Executive Director of Friends of the Children, said, “These opportunities are rare for our children. They are so excited to be here today. These kinds of opportunities are motivating.”

At the end of the day, with the help of Kimura and Hoban, some of Portland’s most vulnerable children were smiling.