Youth Soccer Players Score Against Breast Cancer

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Youth Soccer Players Score Against Breast Cancer

The fifth annual Kickin’ It Challenge soccer tournament that brings San Diego and Southern California’s youth soccer teams together to help fight the

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The fifth annual Kickin’ It Challenge soccer tournament that brings San Diego and Southern California’s youth soccer teams together to help fight the battle against breast cancer will take place Saturday, June 18 through Sunday, June 19 at Frances Ryan Park in Escondido. Registration is open until May 15.

The companion Kickin’ It Challenge Gala Bash celebration will be returning for its second year on Friday, June 24, 2016 at Old Poway Park from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $75 which includes a silent auction, dinner, beer/wine, and dancing. Tickets are on sale now through June 15, 2016.

During the two-day soccer tournament, approximately two thousand youth soccer players on 120 teams will be decked out in pink to take the field to participate in games that “Unite in the Fight” against breast cancer. The goal is to have fun while making a difference for the soccer moms in their lives as well as other San Diegans battling the disease.

“Our Kickin’ It Challenge brings family and friends together for a fabulous weekend full of soccer fun, enthusiasm, learning and a chance to give back,” said Bj Kelly, founding director and auction chair. The chance to give back is more than donations but is also awareness.

“Our focus now includes the ever so important awareness Kickin’ It brings to the young players and their families. The sea of pink covers the field and the participation from the teams shows another power of pink—awareness. Our tournament has an impact on everyone that it touches,” said founding director, Susan Filippone.

Visit the Kickin’ It Challenge website to register a team for the tournament; buy tickets for the gala; sponsor the tournament or gala; or to donate silent auction items to “Unite in the Fight.”

One hundred percent of proceeds raised at these events will benefit Susan G. Komen San Diego (Komen San Diego). Over the last four years, Kickin’ It Challenge events have raised more than $150,000 for Komen San Diego, making it one of Komen’s largest third-party fundraisers.

Founding directors of the Kickin’ It Challenge committee who have made this event possible include: Pam Bickel, president; Beatrice Cubitt, vice president; Bj Kelly, auction chair; Susan Filippone, auction co-chair; Christine Drummond, Webmaster; and Toni DeCarlo, tournament director.

The Kickin’ It Challenge is hosted by Poway Vaqueros Soccer club and its founding partner soccerloco (a premier soccer specialty retailer in America), Affinity Sports and Sentry Storage. Event collateral, tournament software and other items are donated by adidas®, Wilson Trophy, the Catalyst Training Center and The Lock People. The gala is catered by Shell’s Kitchen and music is by DJ Birth.

As part of this unique tournament, there will be a Soccer Tournament Entry auction which awards entries for soccer teams to the Carlsbad Cup, Coronado Holliday Cup, Copa Del Mar, RSF Summer Classic, and Pats Cup. There will also be two Power of Pink (POP) awards. Teams winning the POP awards will be granted free entrance to the 2016 Kickin’ It Challenge.

“When we learned yet another friend had breast cancer we knew something needed to be done,” said Pam Bickel, founding director and president, Kickin’ It Challenge.  “We became good friends through soccer so we thought why couldn’t we help others through soccer?” said Beatrice Cubitt, founding director and vice president, Kickin’ It Challenge.


Registration: Now open. Last day to register is Thurs., May 5.Register and find out more about rules and schedules at
Date: Sat., June 18 through Sun., June 19
Time: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (both days)
Location: Frances Ryan Park, 450 Hidden Trail Rd., Escondido, CA 92027

About Kickin’ It Challenge 

The Kickin’ It Challenge is San Diego’s first youth soccer tournament that benefits Susan G. Komen San Diego. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and the Kickin’ It Challenge is a response to the many affected by breast cancer in the soccer community. “The tournament began as an effort to help members of our soccer community who were battling breast cancer,” said Pam Bickel, founder and president of the Kickin’ It Challenge. “It is deeply personal. Initially we were inspired to take action to help support the fight against this horrible disease when we lost a member of our community to breast cancer. No child should lose a mother this way and we won’t stop until a cure for breast cancer is found.”

About Susan G. Komen San Diego®

Since its inception in 1995, Susan G. Komen San Diego has raised more than $13 million, becoming San Diego County’s largest funder of free breast cancer services and support. It is the only organization providing qualified women the free services they need for every step of the breast cancer journey. These services include free diagnostic mammograms, life-saving screenings, temporary financial aid for living expenses, meal deliveries, education, research and more.  Seventy-five percent of every dollar raised in San Diego stays right here in San Diego County to support local uninsured and underinsured women and their families. The remaining 25 percent funds international breast cancer research. In fact, next to the U.S. government, Susan G. Komen® is the largest funder of breast cancer research in the world. For more information, please visit Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.