Skidmore soccer spreads the joy
by Jessica Kong '16
Spring break at schools in the Saratoga Springs area offered a special opportunity for young soccer enthusiasts, as the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Skidmore hosted the College’s eighth annual Soccer Without Borders youth camp, April 6–10.
Caty Sheridan '15 and Derrick Yam '17
with camp attendees
Soccer Without Borders, with its motto “playing for a change,” is an international program that raises funds for the academic and physical education of young people living in difficult circumstances. The mission, as stated on the organization’s website, is “to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing under-served youth with a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success.”
Skidmore College and its charity partner Positive Tracks are maintaining a Soccer Without Borders chapter in Uganda. So far, the Skidmore soccer teams have raised over $30,000 for the Uganda program. The $8,000 raised this year alone will run the Ugandan chapter for a year and a half.
Lacey Largeteau, head women’s soccer coach, spoke of the support that the program gives to children playing soccer in Uganda. “It makes a huge impact on their daily operations. It helps to pay their coaches, it helps to run the actual facility, and it helps with supplies. Soccer without Borders is combining soccer with health education and community building,” said Largeteau.
Back in Saratoga Springs, some 60 local children, ages 6–14, attended this year’s camp, with Skidmore soccer players doing the organizing and coaching. Leading the charge were Derrick Yam ’17, Lauren Alexander ’15, and Caty Sheridan ’15. The five-day camp ran from 8:15 a.m. to noon each day, with Skidmore athletes offering instruction and supervising practices, drills, and scrimmages. Despite cold, rainy weather, most of the activity took place outdoors on Wachenheim Field, though at times the main gym was used.
Said Alexander, “The kids were really excited for camp. It’s fun for them to see college students playing soccer. I think it’s good for the kids to see how continually practicing can get you somewhere.”