Earlier in November, SLSG coaches Ken Godat and Chris Gomez visited Honduras to set up soccer training clinics as part of the Upper90 Project. The trip was spearheaded by Dr. Alan Wild of the International Medical Assistance Foundation to perform medical procedures not available to the disadvantaged youth in the area.
Godat and Gomez landed in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa on November 6 before arriving at their destination of Catacamas, setting up at the Santos Hermano Pedro Hospital. Thanks to the generous donations of SLSG members, Coaches Gomez and Godat brought an inventory of 81 jerseys, 62 pairs of socks, 73 shorts, 34 shin guards, 200 pairs of high quality shoes, 100 balls and two full-size FIFA nets for all the clinics.
There were three training clinics a day at local small villages and the main hospital, with kids aged 5-17 years old coming out to participate in the activities. Everyday, there were five to six groups eager to play even though they had no shoes and the ball they were using was falling apart. Godat commented, “The most eye-opening thing was that they were happy in life and, even without shoes, they were happy people.” After each clinic, kids were given full uniforms with shoes and balls so they could continue to enhance their soccer development.
“It was an extremely positive experience for everybody involved, but most important was seeing the kids enjoy soccer,” said Gomez. “The impact we were able to have with the gear and training provided, including just the normal Gallagher drills and activities we take for granted everyday, was amazing.”
Coaches Godat and Gomez would like to thank Wilmer Garcia of the Santos Hermano Pedro Hospital and his staff for the generous hospitality during the trip. The coaches also want to thank all the SLSG players who helped raise enough money for the trip to be possible. They extend special thanks to: Ben Wooldridge for his lemonade stand fundraising; Zach Van Hee for asking for Honduras donations instead of gifts at his birthday party; Arif Kovac for donating four of his soccer jerseys and all of his birthday money to the trip; and Jackson McNeal for selling his very creative Unity drawings. Lastly, a big thank you to the ‘04-05 Boys Elite Team from last year who completed their Upper90 Community Outreach Project by Juggling for Humanity. The boys juggled soccer balls for one hour and raised $2,600 for the Honduras Mission Trip and $500 for the Joe Green Unity Scholarship funds. This money will cover most of the costs related to the upcoming Honduras trip in February 2017.