12.18.12 - The Colorado Rush REACH program has been assisting children through the provision of used soccer gear since 2004. Just recently, the founder of REACH, Donna Pettigrew, organized a trip to South Africa which represented the first overseas mission to deliver gear and also plan a sustainable league for an affiliate Rush Club. The trip proved to be a great learning experience for everyone involved and was a succesful one, as well. There is now a full out 6v6 league that will run year round with a goal to eventualy implement a U8, U9, U10, and U11 league, as well. It was also amended to eventually include a U17 girls team, based on the high passion of the volunteer coaches and their desire to learn and play.
The trip lasted 11 days – 8 days actually on the ground in Durban. In addition to humanitarian work within the community and the local church affiliated with the community, various soccer related events were planned throughout the course of the trip. These included coaches clinics, coaches presentations, player camps, a tournament and involvement in a community based Childrens’ Festival.
There are still obstacles to overcome as far as finding permanent fields, but the contact the Rush Ambassadors and coaches were able to make with local clubs such as Shallcoft Football Club and Escombe Sports Club over the 8 day trip could prove to be very influential in achieving this task.
The continued support of the REACH program by Rush members nationwide is grealy appreciated and can make a huge difference in kids' lives as we've seen first hand! For a journal of the whole trip written by the Rush Ambassadors, please visit the following link: South Africa Journal
Below are some soccer pictures from the trip:
Some other random pictures from the trip: