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Kick It Clinic not just about soccer

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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More than anyone, cancer survivors Maria Totushek and Robyn Cunningham know what Dave Collier is going through.

The 46-year-old Orangevale man is battling colon cancer and is the beneficiary of this year’s Kick it Clinic held Friday at Livermore Park, an event Totushek originally put together in 2008 using a soccer clinic to raise money for a community member battling cancer and in need of support. The camp was held for Cunningham when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, and now she has joined Totushek in her efforts to organize the camp every year.

More than 80 kids from 5 to 9 years old participated in the clinic, which was run by about 50 teenager soccer players. The teens taught the participants soccer fundamentals through a series of stations. Among the skills taught included dribbling, kicking, trapping, shooting, passing and defending.

“This clinic means a lot of things to me,” Totushek said. “It’s an opportunity for the kids in the community to give back. The teens are using their soccer skills to teach younger kids. When these kids are exposed to soccer, we want it to be fun and we want them to learn to love the game.

“Also, as a cancer survivor, to feel the love and support from the community when your are feeling low and hopeless is special.”

Cunningham added, “More than anything, I’m giving back to Maria and supporting her and the community. This event is a huge blessing.”
Collier’s twin brother, Rich, has coached in the Folsom Soccer Club for nine years and currently coaches the U-13 Folsom Krushers.

“This event is incredible,” Rich Collier said. “I brought my daughter to this five or six years ago. I never thought it would impact my family. My brother was in perfect health. He wasn’t feeling well and went and had a CAT scan and the next day had surgery because he had a tumor in his colon. It was a big shock. He just finished his 12th chemo treatment and is slowly but surely getting back.”

Totushek said the clinic should raise a minimum of $3,000 for the Collier family.