Soccer Dreams Come True at NVM
In the summer of 2015, the University of Indianapolis (UIndy) Men’s Soccer team descended upon the NVM campus in hopes of building a grass soccer pitch. After many trials and setbacks, the determined team was able to install irrigation lines, clear out rocks, and level and seed the field. As the team departed, they agreed that building this pitch in Haiti could not have been more challenging – and Coach Higgins felt that this was the best team building experience his team ever experienced. They left the NVM campus with great hopes that the grass would grow, and the children would be playing on it soon.
Well, almost a year later, and we can attest that those UIndy soccer players have created a great field for the NVM Soccer League – and that more than just soccer is happening in this league.
Clerice Attis works with the youth in the soccer league, and he shares what it means to have this league at NVM, “As you know, soccer is the main sport in Haiti. For a young person, having the privilege to be equipped to play soccer is life changing. You know how sometimes parents can’t even afford a pair of shoes for school, now imagine them buying a pair of soccer shoes for their kids, or a soccer ball. Those would be the last things on their lists.”
Clerice goes on to say, “With the opportunity of having a soccer club at NVM, we open doors for the youth to pursue their career in playing soccer and to stay healthy in their bodies. Receiving donations like soccer equipment makes a huge difference in the whole situation because some of the equipment we need are hard to find in Haiti and they are a little too expensive for the kids to afford. For every pair of soccer shoes, or soccer ball, or any other equipment that we are receiving, help contributing in the change that we are trying to accomplish in those kids life. Now, here is the greatest thing: it’s true that we are helping those kids through soccer but we saw a deeper need that they have, most of them don’t have a personal relationship with Christ. To help with that we schedule devotion with them in the bible once a week where they come to study the bible, pray together before they start doing any soccer activities. It’s been 8 months already and things we are making progress toward our goal and vision for those young guys.”
And while the NVM soccer club feels they have received a great gift, the UIndy soccer team realized gifts of their own through their experience at NVM.
“An indirect consequence of the trip was the team bonding that occurred during the project on site in Chambrun,” explains UIndy Coach Higgins. “Every team bonding activity that we had done, in the United States or on campus at UIndy, prior to this trip had been forced, and it lacked obstacles that really truly tested the resolve of our players. The experience in Haiti was one that was authentic”
Coach Higgins goes on to say, “We had a team goal, lots of challenging obstacles, and we had to stick together to accomplish the goal. We couldn’t take short cuts or get on our cell phones to escape from the issues that we were facing as a team. The only way we were going to meet our challenge was if we stuck together as a group and worked really hard. After a long day’s work we didn’t get to go home and unwind and turn off. We were forced to stay together, eat together, sleep together, and share our experience together fully and that brought us closer together as a team. The biggest take away for me from the trip was the amount of trust we were able to build during the trip. We worked extremely hard, but it would have all fallen apart if a team member had decided to cheat and not work hard. Our boys learned to trust their teammates in the sense that if they worked hard then their teammates would reciprocate. This trust, that we built in Haiti, will be invaluable to us as we embark on our college season.”
NVM is thankful for all who have donated to make this Soccer League a reality: University of Indianapolis Men’s Soccer Team, Indianapolis Indians, Barthuly Irrigation, Yard Nut, I’M IN, Gear Going Global, Advanced Turf Solutions, GROWMARK, CLC Labs & individual donors.
Do you know a soccer team that would like to invest in our Soccer League, we are looking for teams to run soccer camps. For more information contact – [email protected]