BE ACTIVE, BE INVOLVED, BELONG
Meet Estabraq, Nassil, Hala and Lamar
With giant smiles and adorable little girl laughs, Hala and Lamar take turns dribbling the soccer ball across the grass. Lamar gives her older sister a playful shove while trying to make a quick steal. Hala leans in with a giggle.
Estabraq and Nassil brought their two young children to Oklahoma from Lebanon five years ago. Having been engaged with the YMCA and YWCA in Lebanon, they knew they could find comfort in a YMCA near their new home. The outgoing family of four visited the Earlywine Park YMCA and within minutes of walking in, knew this was a place where they could grow together.
“We walked in and we noticed that everyone looked different from each other; it felt comfortable,” Nassil explains. “Everyone was kind and helpful, we knew this was a place for us.”
Wanting to become more involved, Estabraq became a volunteer soccer coach. A former Iraq National Volleyball player, he’s a natural athlete. He coaches his daughter’s team and has become a beloved coach to not only the kids, but to the parents as well.
“The first hour of practice is for the kids to learn and develop skills,” Estabraq explains. “Then the parents join in for a scrimmage and the real fun begins.”
When it’s game time, it truly is a family affair. While Estabraq is busy coaching the team, Nassil is busy on the sidelines cheering them on. “I know all of the kids’ names so I can cheer for them individually. I go a little crazy. It’s just so exciting!”
The family fun doesn’t end there. Estabraq and the girls love to swim. They try to go to the Earlywine Park pool at least once a week.
“When we swim, we get on dad’s back and pretend he’s a horse,” Hala and Lamar explain while dad nods and chuckles. “It’s our favorite part.”
“The YMCA is a safe place for our kids,” Nassil says. “We can go in and let them explore and not worry about their safety. The staff is caring and supportive, and always monitoring the area. We can’t think of a better place to bring our family.”