Andrew Whittington of the U12 boys soccer team in Fernie keeping his skills sharp through winter. (Photo contributed by Markus Glickman)

Young Fernie soccer players dig deep for Rwanda

The U12 boys and U13 girls soccer teams in Fernie have come together to donate soccer equipment

Young soccer players in the Fernie United soccer club have come together to donate soccer uniforms, cleats and equipment to a village in Rwanda.

The U12 boys and U13 girls teams gathered together a respectable pile of loot from gear that has gone unused.

“These are two teams that are fairly active under normal times,” said U12 boys coach Markus Glickman. “They’re a pretty high achieving bunch.”

Glickman said that with COVID-19, and there being no competitive games to play, the teams had looked for ways to be a part of the wider soccer world anyway.

“(We thought) soccer is the world game, can we do something that reinforces that connection to being part of a world community of soccer players?”

Glickman said that given the young players were at an age where they were growing really fast and never quite used up their soccer gear before they grew out of it, it meant something special to be able to hand it along to those less fortunate.

“It just seemed like a very logical thing that there are kids out there that that set of cleats would be one of the most special things that they owned.”

Glickman, along with fellow U12 coach Gary Joynes and U13 girls coach Sarah Ingram reached out for equipment to donate, and the response was “immediate and heartfelt,” said Glickman.

The soccer gear will be donated to young players in the village of Gashora in Rwanda, a village some 50 k.m. outside the capital city of Kigali.

The donated gear will go through the small NGO, Journey House Actions – which seeks to support families in the village of Gashora by tackling chronic issues that plague the small African nation through various programs designed to empower and educate youth and foster cooperation.

One of those programs is called Real Moon Academic Football – a program founded after the organizers of JHA got their hands on some second-hand footballs.

With the donations from the young players on Fernie, the aspiring young soccer players in Gashora will hopefully be able to go a long way.

READ MORE: Fernie soccer team makes history



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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