In January 2010 a powerful earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti. The National Soccer Federation Headquarters was damaged. Tragically, many lives were lost, including the Women’s National Team Coach. In the aftermath of the earthquake, practice fields were converted to space for tent cities. In an escalation of the tragedy, aid workers from other parts of the world unintentionally introduced cholera into the country through contamination of rivers, through raw sewage runoff from aid centers.
To assist Haiti, FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, donated funds in support of the Haitian Soccer Federation. The Federation, in search of a new coach for the women’s team and a place to train, had several fits and starts but eventually hired Shek Borkowski who lives in northern Indiana. He put together a group of assistant coaches and arranged to practice at the Invaders FC facility in South Bend.
By coincidence, I was invited to work out with the team last summer. What a great opportunity for me. But it quickly became apparent that they were running the training program on the thinnest of margins. The players wore cleats of the poorest quality until they literally fell apart. The team wore regular tee shirts and had no high tech performance gear.
Against all odds, the Haitian team trains for the World Cup Qualifier. In spite of their terrible circumstances back home and their underfinanced training program here, their spirit is joyful and infectious. They are talented but not a deep team. While they have so little, they are welcoming and share their knowledge and love of the game of soccer with some of the luckiest girls around South Bend.
My goal is to provide the team with better gear, such as cleats, for training. My hope is to see them qualify for the 2015 World Cup.
Through some searching and good luck, I have had the opportunity to purchase some high quality gear at dramatically reduced costs. All donated funds will go towards the gear and to the Haitian team to help in their goal of reaching the World Cup. (Pictures of some of this gear are located below.) So every dollar you donate today will be able to buy almost three dollars worth of gear. I have secured several leadership donations already. So we are well on our way. Hope you can help too! Please consider making a donation today.
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