WLF partner, Street Soccer Academy, with help from WLF board member Greg Courtwright, recently did a soccer equipment and uniform drive that generated 57 balls, 38 jersey, 38 shorts, 27 shoes, 15 shin guards (and maybe more!) that were recently delivered to the local sports association of la Guaria, Costa Rica. Our wonderful Meghan Casey identified this group as having a great need for equipment saying, “About 2 years ago we had found a small donation in balls and vests for the kids and that has kept them going in the meantime, but there are no balls left and the vests have seen better days. They have been facing really hard times lately and have been getting pressure to stop their Saturday lessons (which are open to all ages free of cost) since they are not generating funds or playing competitively. We are so excited about the timing of this donation because I think it will be the perfect way to re-inject excitement into the group and provide the coaches with some basic materials for the participants!!” The goods were delivered by a World Leadership School group of students from Presbyterian Day School in Memphis TN. Many thanks to our friends at Street Soccer Academy for all the much needed and appreciated donations and Greg for bringing this opportunity to us and for coordinating and paying for shipping everything.
Roughly 30-50 kids participate every week in SSA’s partner soccer camp in Chilamate, Costa Rica. Our target population is high-risk kids and we accept and encourage children with physical disabilities to participate, as there are no similar opportunities for disabled athletes in the area.
We also try and incorporate environmental education into the program so that these young people understand the importance of conserving this beautiful wilderness in central Costa Rica. To execute this philosophy, we pick up trash everywhere we play and train.
We prefer use the word “camp” rather than “team” to describe our initiative and foster a non-competitive, co-ed environment in which all young people can participate regardless if they are able to provide their own kit.
Unlike for other clubs in the area, there is no cost for the kids who want to play and our entire coaching staff is made up of volunteers who are passionate about the cause and the game. Despite this lack of exclusivity, we are still an important part of the sports community in the region and are invited to local tournaments and events. Many clubs in the area recruit our kids to their official teams, which we encourage. Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat provides the transportation to all games and tournaments as well as natural snacks, water, and Gatorade.
We partner with WLF and SSA to provide us the resources we need to keep this program running. Apart from the material resources we require, we are always eager to hear about training opportunities for our coaching staff or team building activities for the athletes.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org