Thursday, 11 July 2013 02:06

SWOLing for Good with The Pure Game

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How did Pure Game get started?
I, Tony Everett, established Pure Game as a nonprofit in 2009. After several years of my coaching regular, competitive fee-based youth league soccer in Orange County, I traveled to an impoverished area of rural Nigeria, where I played soccer with kids on a rough field with a ball made of waste paper held together with twine. The experience led me to realize that an inexpensive version of the informal game I played as a child, combined with character education, could bring value to Orange County kids living in low-income households and exposed to a host of risks.

What has been the biggest challenge in running Pure Game?
Gaining the financial support that reflects the needs, the success of the program, and the support it has within the communities we serve. The nonprofit world is very competitive with many amazing causes; this makes it very difficult to stand out as something worth donating to. So, to add to the challenge, I would say that creating a message that is cause-centered, emotionally connects to those who want to get involved, but not cheesy in any way, can be very challenging.

 

What are some of the life skills that playing soccer teaches us?
The game of soccer teaches many lessons about life, besides the obvious ones of fair play, teamwork, perseverance, and determination. We can take nearly any life situation and create a lesson about that on the field. Our curriculum is based on getting children to STAR (Stop, Think, Act, And Review), their lives around the game of SOCCER (Safety, Optimism, Compassion, Cooperation, Ethics, Respect and Responsibility). These character traits are simple to teach on the field and essential to living a successful life.

How can soccer fans get involved to support Pure Game?
Pure Game is very excited to gain field champions from those who love the game. We believe children are in need of a champion, so we provide that for them. A field champion is someone who can step onto the Pure Game field and without actually coaching or teaching the game can lift a child up. They would simply use the power of positive words and encouragement to champion the development of a child’s self-esteem and confidence, inspiring them to believe in themselves and the possibilities of a better life. You can find more about how here: http://www.thepuregame.org/act-now

 

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