The Rockville Centre Soccer Club ran its annual two-week clinic, Kids Teaching Kids, from July 17 to 27, during which 35 teenagers and young adult players worked with 4- to 8-year-olds on their skills. But this year, there was an international twist.
The club teamed with logistics company DHL to send donated equipment to the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The club was approached by a mother affiliated with the program, who mentioned that her relative — stationed at the embassy — had told her about the Tanzanian children there who liked to play soccer. But the kids had to make do with what they could scavenge, she said, in lieu of actual equipment.
They would use rolled up balls of leaves, or twine, according to Chris Anderson, the soccer club’s intramural chairman, who has been in contact with the embassy’s Sports Diplomacy Team in organizing the effort.
The goal is to fill two large shipping containers with lightly used or new soccer balls, jerseys, and the disc-like orange cones used to mark the goals and playing field. Currently, the Tanzanian children are using rocks for that purpose.
When the effort began, Anderson sent a mass email to the club’s 1,500 parents explaining the situation and asking for their donations and support. He described the response as “enthusiastic,” and said that he hopes that donors will include their children in the decision to participate in the drive, to show them the value of helping others. The effort will continue until the two shipping containers are filled.
If you would like to donate any soccer equipment to this effort, Anderson can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.