Soccer is much more than a sport…it’s a tool. A tool for teaching hope, love, peace, unity and education…it is THE Beautiful Game.
Tapping into the Beautiful Game’s unlimited potential is Grassroot Soccer…founded in 2002, the organization is using the power of soccer in the fight against AIDS in Africa with its HIV prevention program, effectively arming Africa’s youth with the knowledge, skills, and social support they need to live HIV-free…take a few minutes to watch this video, if it doesn’t move you, perhaps you have no soul.
Tommy Clark (M.D.) founded Grassroot Soccer after having played soccer professionally in Zimbabwe…he witnessed firsthand the devastation of HIV and the unmatched popularity of soccer…and just like that, an amazing thing happened…Clark rallied his like-minded friends with similar experiences-Cofounders Methembe Ndlovu, Ethan Zohn and Kirk Friedrich- and Grassroot Soccer was born…the studs went back to Zimbabwe in 2002 where they developed an interactive soccer-themed HIV prevention curriculum that was first implemented in Zimbabwe in 2003….the results were amazing, they found that the GrassRoot Soccer HIV/AIDS Education Program significantly improved student knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of social support related to HIV/AIDS…they also found that students used the knowledge they learned-and teachers were eager to see more ways to sustain the results while becoming more actively involved in the educational process.
Obviously, I’ve opted to run a post without naming a celebrity or celebrity athlete involved…but co-founder Ethan Zohn deserves some love…you may recognize his name if you’re a fan of ‘Survivor’ and have a massive crush on Jeff Probst like I do…but my love for Zohn stems from his passion for helping others…in May, Zohn was diagnosed with a rare form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma-he’s got an excellent chance of defeating it but in the meantime he’s using everything at his disposal to educate others about this disease. On the Grassroot website, he writes: “My compassion for those affected by a life-threatening disease has become more informed as I’ve been faced with this diagnosis. Now I know first-hand what it’s like to get this kind of news, and I can better relate to my friends in Africa faced with their own challenges…it has motivated me even more to help educate others…Cancer and HIV/AIDS are two diseases we have a lot more to learn about. But while we continue search for ways to prevent cancer, we already know what we can do to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.”
Please visit the Grassroot Soccer website for more info…I couldn’t possibly cover all the amazing things they are doing and have done for Africa’s youth…thank you Grassroot Soccer, for making it much, much more than just a sport.
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com