Originating from a small border town in Zimbabwe called Plumtree, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to chase my dream as a professional soccer player in my 3rd year with the world famous New York Cosmos. Plumtree is a small town in Zimbabwe, & it continues to face challenges in terms of youth soccer development & talent recognition at a younger age. I started playing soccer at the age of five with the courage and support from my family. I was scouted by Jeff Cook (then Dartmouth College soccer coach) in 2007 in a two-day soccer showcase in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in a pool of forty-four players, with the help of Methembe Ndlovu (co-founder of Grassroot Soccer). The showcase earned me an opportunity to study and play soccer in the United States (Kimball Union Academy & Dartmouth College). I was drafted by Chicago Fire (Major League Soccer) after graduating from Dartmouth in 2012. I’m currently a forward for New York Cosmos, and it’s my 3rd year with the club. During my visit back to Plumtree in 2015, I was devastated when I witnessed the continued lack of training equipment, resources, poor infrastructure, and deteriorated training fields, some of which I used
when I was young. This has caused several talented players in the community to make poor life choices - drugs, crime - that not only affect them but their families, friends, and the community as well.
Having helped found Sisonke Simunye - Together We Are 1 Soccer Academy in Florida & after my journey, & experiences, I was inspired to register BYS (Bridging Youth through Soccer) academy in Plumtree. BYS will allow us to provide opportunities to more youth players in Plumtree and surrounding areas by offering a soccer program and academy that will run all year round, complimented by a mentorship program with the goal of helping the underprivileged kids try & attend school in the United States or play professionally. The academy's goal is to use soccer to mobilize, develop, change lives by investing in the youth, and creating a safer environment for the community. BYS academy will host a U14 tournament this December,2017 in Plumtree. The 2nd year we are offering a program to the kids and we are kindly asking for your support to help improve the experience from last year. Images from last year's outreach program are below, with donations from YSC Academy in Philadelphia, Peak Perfomance Physical Therapy in Lynbrook NY, Upper90 Soccer in Hicksville NY, 4luvofthegame in NY, and New York Cosmos teammates.
Objectives of the tournament
•To give underprivileged talented kids a platform to shine and be selected to train with the academy all year round.
•To ensure that the underprivileged members of the community have access to talent development initiatives and facilities in order to optimize their potential.
• To source for sponsorships and scholarships for the disadvantaged but talented youths who excel in both, school and soccer.
BYS Academy U14 tournament December 2017
• One day tournament, giving back to the community.
• Six primary school teams from Plumtree.
• BYS in partnership with New York Cosmos, finalists to wear Cosmos jerseys that they can keep.
•BYS is in partnership with Sisonke Simunye - Together We Are 1 Academy in Florida to help players with high school & college opportunities. Semi finalists get jerseys that they can keep.
•Select players for BYS academy.
• Engage local sponsors and businesses.
Reasons for financial assistance
• Providing an event for the youth players to enjoy the game of soccer.
•Providing the community with much needed morale booster as most people are affected by the poor economic conditions.
•Providing a fun and free event for the community to support the youth.
•Transport costs for teams.
• Donate balls to the six participating schools.
• Safety & security during tournament.
• Food and drinks for participating teams.
• Individual and participation prizes.
As we say in Zimbabwe Tinotenda, Siyabonga, Thank You!
DonationsSee top donations
- Nancy Cressman
- Jeff & Christina Cook
- Jackie Brown
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