LAS VEGAS (KLAS)— It was a packed house at Seastrand Park in North Las Vegas on Saturday morning as local officials prepared their teams to play the field.
Andrew Bigger is a firefighter with the North Las Vegas fire department and now the head coach of the ‘Robots’ youth soccer team.
Bigger said volunteering a few hours of his time is the department’s way of giving back to the community.
“We’re huge with community involvement. we have the Southern Nevada Burn foundation and a whole bunch of community outreach, but there was never something that directly involved with the kids.” explained Bigger. “So now that we have this kind of opportunity where we can come out and interact with the kids, teach them good life skills, good habits, teach them soccer and help them to have fun is a huge opportunity for us to be out here.”
Parent Brenda Huerta attended with her daughter Juliana. She said this type of involvement is a great way for kids to learn more about the fire and police departments in the area, all while making new friends.
“I did want her to get more active,” said Huerta. “She does have younger siblings but because there’s a gap in the age, they’re like 3 and 4 years old and she’s 7 so I wanted her to get more involved and we all grew up playing this as kids as well so I wanted her to have that experience.”
AJ Hernandez from the North Las Vegas police department coaches the “Green” team. He said he’s looking forward to more opportunities like this in the future.
“To get to have an impact and teach kids hard work, discipline, and sportsmanship at a young age and to test some of their athletic abilities is fun,” explained Hernandez. “To play against north Las Vegas fire, you can’t ask for anything better.”
Shari Hickman, whose son Mason is also on the soccer team, said their dedication doesn’t go unnoticed.
“Being that they are busy with their work, taking time to come out to coach some 7 and 8-year-old’s takes a lot of patience as well, so we appreciate them on and off the field,” said Hickman.