We Got Game... In Africa!
Soccer is at once the world’s game and very, very local. Two seasoned DC Stoddert travel players helped bridge that divide this summer, bringing our club’s spirit, gently used jerseys, and other equipment to kids in Ethiopia and Kenya during a service-learning school trip.DC Stoddert travel players helped bridge that divide this summer, bringing our club’s spirit, gently used jerseys, and other equipment to kids in Ethiopia and Kenya during a service-learning school trip.
Georgetown Day School rising senior Mike Klain of the U18 Blue Lightning (NCSL Div. 1) and classmate Anna Cerf, a GU18 Heat (WAGS H.S. Div. 2) veteran and dedicated referee, collected jereseys from teammates and other DC Stoddert friends. Anna also got balls, jerseys, and shorts from the GU13 rec. teams she refereed every Saturyday. Asst. administrator and registrar Derrick Biss provided never-worn jerseys and other items from the club’s (now empty!) storeroom, while Anna’s mom and team manager Cindy Dunbar assisted the players’ efforts.
The players were visiting Africa on a GDS service trip with 14 other GDS classmates and four teachers. The group spent time at Project Mercy, a school, orphanage and AIDS program in Ethiopia, and with Rick Hodes and his program for medical relief of children in Addis Ababa. They also visited a Masai environmental station in Kenya.
Don’t be surprised to see the Blue Lightning playing in an Ethiopian schoolyard. Mike donated his team’s retired uniforms to the principal of a high school there. (See photo, right) Kenyan youngsters will sport the vivid green and yellow jerseys of DC Stoddert’s rec teams.
Thanks to all the players, families, and staff who donated equipment an uniforms -- and especially to Mike and Anna for bringing our club and the world closer together.
Photo: Ethiopian principal receives retired Blue Lightning uniforms from Mike Klain.
These weren’t the only African youth players touched by DC Stoddert donations. U14 player Alexander Truitt with mom Cindy Truitt and League Administrator Tom Gross spearheaded a collection of jerseys and equipment for children in Nairobi, Kenya.
Cindy’s neice, Joscelyn Truitt, wrote to thank our families and club for supplying the uniforms and gear that -- after much hauling, organizing and distributing -- enabled the Red Rose School in Kibera, one of the world’s largest urban slums, to field its first youth soccer team. The school, which is supported by the Children of Kibera Foundation, now has a soccer program reaching players 9 to 13.
Read Joscelyn's letter of appreciation and more about how your donations made a difference.
Photo: Red Rose School’s first youth soccer team sports DC Stoddert jerseys
Meanwhile, DC Stoddert Chairman David Sarley had an African soccer encounter, too. On assignment in Abudja, Nigeria, he saw the Falcons national team return from their Women’s World Cup match in Germany. To quote that signature Disney song: It’s a Small World After All.
posted by MCL 7/9/11 from details provided by participants’ parents.