MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - Two members of the Georgia College & State University soccer team took time out of their summer to make a special trip to El Ayudante, Nicaragua. The Bobcats spread joy through soccer including presenting Little Feet soccer balls and GCSU soccer gear to the local youth.
As part of the organization's "You Play, They Play" message, for every soccer ball purchased through Little Feet, one is donated to underprivileged children around the world. Two members of the GCSU soccer family, graduated senior Kristen Moore (2005-08) and rising senior Kara Teresi (Tampa, Fla.), played soccer with the local youth while on a church trip, presenting the youngsters with Little Feet balls.
Teresi describes the trip as follows:
"Our first night at El Ayudante, Kristen and I played soccer in the dirt field near the surrounding barrios (communities) overlooking the Cerro Negro Volcano. There were no goals on the field, but rather rocks used as goals, and most of the boys playing were barefoot or wearing sandals."
"We developed a relationship with one of the older boys, Lester, he was 21, and had no job and was living with his mother taking care of his two year old son, Anthony. Lester was a Christian, and his team called, Apocolypto (Revelation) invited our group to come watch their semi-final game. We blessed Lester and his team with GCSU jerseys, cleats, and soccer balls at their semi-final game played on a soccer field with goals but no grass that El Ayudante helped build for the community.
"They won their semi-final game 2-1, and we gave the rest of our soccer equipment, including 10 Little Feet balls from our GCSU soccer team to the Director of the soccer league there. After playing a short scrimmage with our team, Kristen and I huddled up to pray with the team. Lester with tears in his eyes thanked us for our friendship and blessings for their team. The Lord began to press upon our hearts a desire to see Lester grow in the Lord and Bill the Director of El Ayudante agreed to consider Lester for possible employment at El Ayudante working with the children as a soccer instructor."
One of the first acts by head coach Juan Pablo Favero in his first year as coach of the Bobcats was to join up with Little Feet to purchase practice balls. Favero did the same thing at Newberry College, and knows the value of spreading goodwill through soccer around the world.
Individuals can purchase soccer balls through Little Feet as well. To help build the program, visit the Little Feet web site at www.littlefeet.com .
Winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, the GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.