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NSU Demons soccer send over 90 pounds of Christmas gifts to Kenya
Dec 21, 2012 | 428 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NATHCITOCHES – The Northwestern State Lady Demon soccer team has come together to send over 90 pounds of Christmas gifts to the Suba Lakers, a girls soccer club located in Mbita, Kenya on the edge of Lake Victoria.

The club offers soccer training through clinics, camps, leagues and tournaments while also educating the girls on health matters, social issues, academic support and spiritual development. The girls are also offered help with their basic physical needs, as well as supporting them in school when necessary.

Over 25 percent of the young girls in Mbita were orphaned after their parents died from the HIV virus. Many of the girls live in poverty, fight disease, enter into early marriages and unplanned pregnancies.

Joe Peterson, a former Graduate Assistant for the Demon basketball team, visited Mbita on a mission trip, and decided to create the Suba Lakers in order to help combat the problems that many young girls face.

Coach Mike McConathy introduced Joe to the NSU soccer team during the 2012 season; Joe showed the Lady Demons a video of the team and the world they live in.

"Before the video was over, I think every player on the team felt like we had to help them,” said head coach George Van Linder. “In a sense, we felt like we had just adopted a soccer team.”

At the annual Lady Demon soccer Christmas party, players brought a wrapped shoe box to be given to a player on the Suba Lakers, which is something the team hopes to be the start to a long tradition in the future of NSU soccer.

“We sent it before December so we hope it reaches them in time for Christmas,” said Van Linder. “It will mean so much for our team to be able to put a smile on each of the team members face with a Christmas gift."

With the girls playing soccer in Kenya, they develop confidence and self esteem and continue to stay in school, and not get pulled away by some of the challenges they face.

"If we can help girls, many just a few years younger than the players at NSU, to continue to get their education and experience the joy of soccer then we feel like its one of the biggest impacts we can make as a team off the field."
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