In anticipation of our upcoming season opener (Sunday, 6pm @ Rutgers Stadium…also on Fox Soccer Channel at the same time), I decided I wanted to change things up a little bit when it came to my blog. I would like to believe that my blog serves as a piece of inspiration and motivation to many of my readers but sometimes words can only express so much. I feel I am limited to the dimensions of this page and so I would like to attempt to break out of this box by sharing two phenomenal videos that were recently shared with me. Let’s get some insight from outside sources, shall we.
I have always been a strong believer in the power of sport. Not just on the individual playing the game but the entire community that supports it. This power transcends generations, races, religions, and gender and enables sports to bring together entire nations in pursuit of one common goal.
Women have recently profited from the benefits of sports due to the enactment of Title IX, and this impact has been resounding. I recently wrote an article in Our Game Magazine describing how sport can impact females both on and off the field. I invite you to read this article (Page 16 of Our Game Magazine http://www.mzcat.com/ogm/default.asp?m_id=373 ) for an in-depth view.
Without further ado, and continuing on with this idea, I would like to share my first video:
What makes this story so special to the Cheesesteaks is that it is about a group of young women who play for the Anderson Monarchs soccer club in downtown Philadelphia (right around the corner from us). Also, these girls attended one of our games last season and even served as our walk out partners holding the hands of the starting players as they strolled from the locker room to the playing field for the start of the game.
As you will see in the video, the game of soccer is helping to shape lives both on and off the field. The inner city is a tough place to grow up but these girls are building positive characteristics that will serve them for the rest of their lives: teamwork, determination, leadership, self belief, focus, confidence to just name a few. Not to mention, the physical benefits of understanding the importance of a healthy lifestyle and exercise. Eugene Martin is the man the behind the mission (the director) and Walter Stewart is the one who pulls the strings as head coach, but together they realize that what these girls are achieving is nothing less than life changing. The Anderson Monarchs soccer team is providing an opportunity for an at risk, urban neighborhood to feel good about itself, regardless of the score of the game, and the smiles on the girls faces are proof of this.
What is now a four-minute video will soon be a full length featured film and I highly recommend you check this story out because I definitely cannot do it justice. You have to see it for yourself.
The second video is just as profound and will truly bring tears to your eyes. It is the ultimate “Field of Dreams” story that really proves soccer can change the world. This is a story about how a group of optimistic and determined boys on the floating village of Koh Payee turned a non-soccer playing town into the one of best soccer clubs in Southern Thailand. It is one of the most incredible videos I have ever seen and it will make you believe that anything, and I mean anything, is possible…..even floating soccer fields in the middle of the water.
I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I did (if the links don’t work, my apologies, just cut and paste into your browser….I am still a blog novice). While inspiration often can and will come from within, it is always nice to get a little help from our friends.
Now legitimately inspired, I know us Cheesesteaks will achieve great things this weekend. One step at a time and it starts in Jersey. Who is with us?????