The St. Catharine soccer team will no doubt score many important goals in the 2011 season. But no goal will be bigger than the one they recently announced at the opening of the academic year.
Patriot head coach Tim Wolz, speaking at the annual fall meeting of all faculty and staff, outlined the ambitious project that his team will carry out over the next nine months. The goal explained by Wolz is to take his team to Costa Rica to help bring drinking water to the citizens there who haven’t enjoyed that necessity. To help finance the cost of the water purification systems, which the players will help repair and install, the team is collecting shoes.
“Old shoes, new shoes, shoes with holes, flip flops, boots, dressy or torn,” said Wolz. “Edge Outreach will take the shoes and have them recycled. The money from that will help us pay for the equipment needed to install the systems.”
Wolz added that his players will gladly pick up any donated shoes or they can be brought to many collection sites on campus. The goal is to fill one tractor trailer with shoes. Each pair bring 75 cents to the fundraising project.
The soccer team will attend a six hour seminar on how to repair and install water purification systems. They will then travel to Costa Rica to install the systems and teach the people there how they can complete the installation themselves. The Patriots will also work in orphanages, repairing houses and holding soccer clinics for the orphans.
Jonathan Engstrom, a senior co-captain from Frankfort, Ky., hopes the project is the first of many of its kind. “It will be good to get the freshmen involved as they haven’t had the chance to do service projects yet. Community service is something the campus in general has been doing but now our athletic teams are really getting involved. We hope this trip will set a precedent. The soccer team is trying to raise the bar for community service.”
Edge Outreach is a faith-based, ecumenical organization that protects the lives of nearly 400,000 people each year by providing training, equipment, and project implementation strategies to individuals seeking to address water quality and sanitation issues in developing countries and disaster environments.
Sheldon Lucas, the Patriots’ other co-captain, is well aware of the situation in these impoverished countries.”My dad is from Guyana so I am aware of the conditions in many of the Central American and South American countries. It will not be as big a shock to me as it will be to some of the other players.”
The trip to Costa Rica will not be the first community service for the Patriot soccer team. In August the players went to The Lord’s Kitchen City of Hope in Louisville, KY. The Lord’s kitchen is a food shelter that serves over 5,000 meals a week. The players prepared and served meals, mopped floors, washed dishes and swept sidewalks.
Wolz concluded, “The players and I are very passionate about not only being great soccer players but great people as well. This is our little way of improving the world.”