Play for Her Spotlight: Crystal Zamora and her Girl’s Spring Break Camp

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Play for Her Spotlight: Crystal Zamora and her Girl’s Spring Break Camp

For those who’ve witnessed Crystal Zamora’s diverse involvement at CFC over the years, it’s easy to see her kindness, skill, and dedication. For those who’ve known her a long time or had the privilege of speaking to her one on one about her experiences and goals, it’s apparent that her most obvious attributes are just the surface. Crystal Zamora is a force to be reckoned with. Don’t let her shyness or subtlety fool you. “Coach Crystal” has the unique gift of compassionate action. When you really get to know Crystal you understand this; at an early age she recognized something that changed her life for the better, decided others deserved the same, and then, most importantly, made it happen.

Crystal Zamora is a game changer. She has a steady, quiet momentum that gathers energy through leadership, humility, and intelligence. One that builds strength over time, has a lasting impact, and cultivates communities. Crystal’s Girl’s Spring Break Camp is her dream in action and something CFC Atletica celebrates wholeheartedly.

When Crystal was a high school senior she was assigned the creation of a community project. Something of her choosing that had a positive influence on individuals and society. For Crystal, there was no doubt that soccer would be the core of her project, and CFC players the beneficiaries.

The more she reflected, the clearer and obvious her project became. “Growing up there weren’t enough opportunities for girls to play soccer, so I naturally wanted whatever I did to be for girls. CFC became an option for me personally through their scholarship programs, so giving proceeds to players struggling financially was another obvious choice.” She also knew growing up there were camps she wanted to attend but couldn’t afford, so a day-camp would be her official project and registration fees would be low.

Crystal’s Girl’s Spring Break Camp was born in 2015 and briefly paused so Crystal could focus on her thesis before graduating from Willamette University in 2019 where she played midfield and became the first of her family to receive a college degree. Her camp returns in a few weeks. 

Girls who sign up get the privilege of being coached by females (some of which once participated in the camp as youth themselves), expanding their athletic sisterhood, gaining better technique, and having a lot of fun.

“It’s important to me that there’s always a balance of learning and fun. There’s technical improvement, but fun too. A similar feel to those random games coaches would let us play at the end of a hard practice. Everyone loves that. Work hard, get better, and have a good time.”

It’s that internalized CFC philosophy of “serious fun” that’s certainly made one of the biggest impacts on CFC competitive u12 player Gwen Sorem. “This one time it was super muddy and we had fun with it. One of the coaches gave me a piggyback ride around the mud and one time I slipped during 1v1s but I wasn’t embarrassed because me and Crystal just laughed it off and then gave it a name: “the mud slide”. It was funny.”

Crystal’s camp has also made a difference beyond its participants. CFC Board Member and Scholarship Committee Chair, Kirsten Steketee, has known her to be “a quiet force of nature”. “Crystal works hard to help all kids participate in soccer. I talked to her once about paying herself or some of the other coaches, but she has continued to donate all of the money. How wonderful to see a young person recognize the impact something’s had on her life, and then choose to so generously give back to the program. She is a role model for all of us.”

Vicky Cruz, CFC coach, Atletica standout, and Coerver DOC has also seen the effects of Crystal’s heart. “She has a great reputation as a person and cares a lot about everyone. She also understands how important it is for kids to feel like they’re a part of a family when they come play. Their experiences, how kids feel when they’re around you and when they leave, that’s just as important as anything else.”

Crystal’s hopes for the future of her camp include strengthening marketing and connections, increasing the number of coaches, and expanding the ages offered. There’s even talks of coordinating efforts with CFC Atletica in the future, as both camps share similar missions and philosophies.

This year’s Girl’s Spring Break Camp is Saturday, March 21, 9am-1:30pm for girls ages 8-12, and $35 at Salem Indoor. 100% of proceeds go towards CFC scholarship funds. You can register at or email [email protected] or [email protected]

Do you have a soccer loving daughter who’d like to get better, have fun, and be inspired? Would you like to help expand CFC scholarship funding? Sign up today and spread the word. Support Crystal Zamora, support girls, support the CFC family.