On February 13, 1314, King Edward II banned soccer in London with a royal order “to forbid playing this godless game within the town walls under penalty of imprisonment.”

To the day 710 years later, our guest speaker Lisa Wrightsman countered with an inspiring presentation that underscored the beneficial impacts of playing soccer for formerly unhoused individuals served by her organization, Street Soccer USA-Sacramento.

Meeting sponsor Bajrang Moran shared the exciting news that he and spouse Gabriel Gendron have opened Sattva California in Rancho Cordova, a premiere learning center for meditation, breathwork and yoga. Sattva California is home of “Positive Mind Performance Training” 30-minute classes designed for busy minds and practiced sitting on chairs, couches or cushions. Rooted in the rich traditions of the Himalayas, these time-tested, practical and scientific techniques cultivate optimal health and wellness benefits.

SATTVA California logo

Club Announcements:

  • Loaves and Fishes – Virginia Wade appealed for volunteers on February 29
  • Parkway Clean Up – Megan Masten announced a postponement due to weather; look for a fresh date in the near future.
  • Jean Runyon Award – Maggie Hopkins encouraged nominations by the February 24 deadline for this prestigious club award.

Justino Santana introduced Lisa Wrightsman, Managing Director of Street Soccer USA, Sacramento. Lisa played soccer for Sacramento State and has continued her love for soccer both as a player and coach in the Homeless World Cup – and as a leader expanding the reach of Street Soccer USA here in Sacramento.

Lisa shared her personal journey of a passion for soccer; a post-college downward spiral via substance abuse that resulted in jail time; and recovery aided greatly by rekindling her love for the game through Street Soccer USA (take that, King Edward). A national non-profit, Street Soccer USA provides free programs, a safe space, and healing through hope and the joy of playing the game.

Street Soccer USA-Sacramento serves 1,200 youth and adults every week. All programs are free to anyone who wants to play soccer, funded by grants, school contracts and fundraising. Their fields are located at Broadway and 8th Street. Thanks in great part to her efforts, Sacramento hosted the Homeless World Cup last July, and a documentary film about the Homeless World Cup will release March 29 on Netflix.

Group photo

President Todd thanked greeters Josh Pelz, Buddy Hubbert and Steve Huffman. The Pulse reporter was Ann Solomon and photography was handled by Virginia Wade. Ed Melia hosted the wine reception. The Thought for the Day was delivered by Brad Schmidt.

No club meeting on February 20 in observance of Presidents Day.

Photos by Virginia Wade