Inside the Brain of a Teenage Soccer Genius

Essays, Player Reviews, Scouting Reports, Events, Match Reviews, Statistics and Things of no Importance

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Kenyan Soccer Project: Uniting Two Communities a World Apart Through Soccer

Lexi and I have been friends for just over a year, but it feels like a lifetime. Sometimes we feel like we are even the same person, saying something in unison or discovering yet another totally random thing we both love from music and food to clothing and interior decorating. In our long commutes (but never long enough!) from Olympic College campus to Bainbridge Island, between listening to music, we brainstorm and share ideas. Some of them are good ideas, many of them are just plain crazy but the idea for the Kenyan Soccer Project was born out of the combinations of our two main passions, soccer and Kenya, and our shared passion for helping others and making the world a better place. Lexi came to me about a month ago and told me about a friend of hers who was working in Kenya at a village near the one she had lived in while she was there with her family. He said that the men there were hardworking, young and passionate but lacked someplace to direct their passion and spare time. This was confirmed when we spoke with John, a man from the village, over Skype. John told us that the men there would come in from working in the sugar cane fields and want something to do with their time. They resorted to gambling, drinking or creating mischief. John and Shebby, a representative from the farm where Lexi had lived and our primary Kenyan contact, both wanted to unite the young men and women in the villages surrounding the farm over soccer; hoping that through the beautiful game, they would experience community, responsibility, enjoyment and religious enrichment . Lexi and I hope for those things as well, but in addition we are hoping that our communities over here in Washington will be able to get involved and experience the same thing, thus uniting not only the communities in Kenya, but also the communities here and creating a relationship between the two.
This is the first chapter in the story of the Kenyan Soccer Project. I do not yet have much information, but I hope that by reading this, you will feel just as much excitement and hope as Lexi, John, Shebby and I do. We look forward to taking this journey with you!

Lexi: Lexi is by far the key connection for this project. She was the one to bring the idea of a soccer club/team/league to Madi thanks to a heads up from a friend who was visiting the village at the time. Lexi's enthusiasm and energy have already helped the project grow from just an idea to a plan of action and she has been pivotal in initiating contact across the Atlantic. Lexi will be lending her knowledge and experience of the Kenyan people and their culture to the project. She lived in the area that the project will be focusing on and is planning to make a trip there this summer. Her thorough information gathering skills, people skills and all around lovely attitude and positive energy will help nurture this program and help it grow into a self-sustaining and successful project that will bring pride to the people involved.
Madi: Madi will be the "soccer side" of the project. She has been involved in soccer since she was eight years old, watching, playing, and coaching her own team by the time she was 16. She is now an avid player and coach who is pursuing her interests in coaching and sharing the beautiful game with people all over the world. Her hope for the Kenyan Soccer Project is that the club becomes the pride of the community, giving children and youth an education that can be worked into a soccer-related curriculum, educating coaches and ultimately creating players who are able to compete with some of the soccer talents in the rest of the country. She will use her knowledge of player and club development, coaching and her love of people and soccer to help the program grow.
Part I: Getting the Ball Rolling
Lexi and I have made contact with our Kenyan helpers via Skype and Facebook. They are both enthusiastic, passionate and hard working, so we are confident that once we "get the ball rolling", both figuratively and literally, it will be smooth sailing! We have constructed an outline with our plan of action, making sure that our end goal is very clear:

  • Community Pride
  • A Long Term, Self-Sustaining Program
  • Uniting the Communities
  • Enriching the Youth of Kenya with an Education and a Passion

As of now we are gathering information, but I will be blogging all of our progress. I have some pictures on the way along with some information about the Kenyan side of things. I look forward to sharing this journey with you!


Lexi Krueger said...

YES!!! This is SO great! I am looking forward to doing this with you!

Unknown said...

Madi and Lexi, I look forward to following your blog and sharing it with my own 10 year old soccer girl. Good luck!