Skidmore's camp benefits Soccer Without Borders
Spring break gives a break to needy Ugandan kids, as the Skidmore men’s and women’s soccer teams raise money by hosting an April 1–5 soccer camp for local boys and girls ages 6–14.
Members of the women's soccer team
who will be part of the Soccer With-
out Borders Camp: Kelsey Yam ’13
(left), Kelsey Russell ’14, Keirsten
At last year’s spring soccer camp, Kelsey Yam ’13 explained to a five-year-old that the camp’s proceeds go to Soccer Without Borders, helping nearly 400 needy children in Uganda. Right then and there, the camper donated his brand-new soccer ball to the cause. That year $5,000 was contributed, bringing to $25,000 the amount raised since the camp’s inception in 2008.
“That was really cool,” recalls Yam, a business major and three-time All-Liberty League honoree, who traveled last summer to a Ugandan Soccer Without Borders site, where she helped teach soccer and life skills. She says the experience was “life-changing” and the Ugandan people were “beyond inspiring.” Her dream is to open an all-girls SWB program in rural Uganda, to help level the playing field for them and begin to change the prevailing Ugandan mindset about the roles and capabilities of girls. (For an interview with Yam on Uganda, the Skidmore camp, and her future plans, click here.)
Skidmore’s sixth annual SWB spring-break camp will be held this year from April 1 to 5, coinciding with spring break in area school districts. Organized and run by Skidmore’s soccer teams and Student Athletic Advisory Committee, the camp is for boys and girls, ages 6 to 14. It runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Wachenheim Field, Skidmore’s long-turf soccer pitch. The camp’s focus is on teaching soccer skills and having fun. A donation of $75 to $100 is suggested—details and registration here.
In addition to the good cause and the skill-building, the camp is an opportunity for area kids to spend time with more than 50 bright and motivated college students. Says Marcus Golbas ’13, an environmental studies major and 2012 men’s soccer captain, “I enjoy how our camp provides a chance for youngsters to play and learn from college players. It doesn't seem so long ago that we were their age, with all the questions about life and the next steps in our soccer careers. I hope we can help them improve their skills, but also share our personal stories about how we got to where we are.” Women’s soccer coach Lacey Largeteau and former men’s soccer coach Ron McEachen will also help out at the camp.
Soccer Without Borders is a not-for-profit that uses soccer to bring positive change to youths’ lives in underprivileged communities worldwide. Skidmore’s camp donations are crucial to the SWB program in Uganda.