I can point to reading Warren St. John’s <a href=”Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference “>Outcasts United (affiliate link) as a turning point in my views about youth sports and soccer as well.
I read the book while on vacation with my family, leading up to the start of the Men’s World Cup in 2010. The book chronicles Luma Mufleh’s efforts to build a soccer program for a group of refugee children in Clarkson, Georgia and the struggles she faced in establishing the program.
One of the aspects of the book that struck me as a parent was how significant soccer could be in the lives of kids. In so many ways, the opportunity to participate in an organized team was a huge gift to these children who had been playing in the parking lots and open space they could find among their apartments. Youth sports had the power to be profound turning points in their lives, and it wasn’t all about wins on the field.
I really hope I can find a way to convey this to my own two sons – that getting to play sports is a huge privilege that others wish for!
Luma, an immigrant herself, was featured on CBS Sunday this week as she became a US Citizen. It’s a great story and worth watching.
The Fugees Family continues to operate in Clarkson – and needs help from the community to further their programs.