December 14, 2016
HEADY TIMES FOR EDDIE
Gamarra inducted into ENY Hall
Eddie Gamarra has been inducted into the Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame. His induction took place at the holiday party of Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association and Eastern New York State Adult Soccer Association at Marina del Rey in the Bronx Dec. 4.
Gamarra, who also was inducted into the Staten Island Youth Soccer League Hall of Fame in 2009, has been involved in soccer his entire life. He played the game while growing up in Lima, Peru and competed for the youth team Alianza Lima as a teenager. Enthusiasm for sports runs in his family as Gamarra's father was a champion Pan American Games athlete, his mother was a big basketball fan and his older brother, Galo, was a Senior PGA Pro.
He immigrated to the United States in 1965 and has lived in New Dorp for the past 46 years. In 1980, Gamarra's wife Peggy learned that Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish was looking to start a soccer program and urged Eddie to apply. Without much convincing, Gamarra co-founded the soccer program with Sal Parello and the OLQP Blue Jays were born. His children –– Eddie Jr., Mark and Matthew –– played for the program.
The 72-year-old Gamarra has served as the soccer program’s president since that time before retiring this year with a six-year hiatus from 1988 to 1994. Je developed OLQP into a model program and has coached many teams, both boys and girls squads, through the years.
”Eddie’s generosity is seen throughout the parish as he always finds a discreet way to cover the cost for a struggling family that can’t afford the fees," SIYSL president Bill Smith said. "This generosity and commitment was recognized when he was honored with the Heroes and Heroines award, a program that honors local residents for their outstanding work in the community."
Gamarra has served in various positions for the SIYSL, including vice president. He now enjoys coaching the children of the players he once coached.