Soccer, biking, running, swimming, volleyball, long boarding, the list of sports I enjoy could go on and on. The thrill of sports, the competition, the dedication, are elements shared among all athletes. After being introduced to the beautiful game of soccer at age 4 and still playing at the age of 32, being a “soccer player” is part of my identity.
For those of you that are players, fans or athletes of another sport, imagine where you would be without the game you love? Where would my life be without soccer? Or maybe I ought to delve deeper and ask Who would I be? It’s a tough question, simply because I can’t imagine living without soccer.
I know that soccer taught me teamwork in grade school & discipline thru high school. It forced me to make sacrifices, to sweat, to have stamina and endurance. Soccer introduced me to teammates and to friends from places all over the world. To me it trumps all other sports. Soccer tops the ranks among the world’s games & yes I realize that can stir a bit of hullabaloo among other sport lovers, but voiced in the arena of kyck.com I think it’s a safe claim.
If soccer had given so much to me over the years, what could be done to give back? This significance of this question didn’t fully come to fruition until I traveled outside the United States. I experienced the typical European tour during College - a great introduction to lives lived in a non-American way. Then traveling in my twenties to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Dominican Republic & West Africa. It was in these places I experienced that race, age, gender, rich or poor, soccer was a common language & an equalizing ground. I learned that for people living in impoverished conditions, in areas we casually refer to as “third world countries”, soccer can mean so much more.
Futbol permeates most cultures with an astounding pride to their country, to their favorite professional club and their own homegrown leagues. Frankly, people live (& die) for it. Many who face living in difficult environments soccer serves as an escape from tough realities. It keeps kids off the streets, away from drugs, it can lead to education and it gives a positive focus amongst challenging circumstances. Despite the intangible qualities soccer provides, opportunity to play the game isn’t as accessible as one might think.
I’ve never had to walk 10 km for a bucket of water and then head to soccer practice. I don’t have to worry about malaria while resting up for a game. And in the same (less life-threatening) thought I haven’t had to use garbage to make shift a ball, play barefoot on a rocky field or be concerned that my team doesn’t have jerseys. It became very real to me that I had taken for granted the amenities. Cleats, jerseys, soccer balls are not automatically on hand, as I had known them to be growing up with the game.
In 2008 PeacePassers.org was founded with the mission to collect & distribute soccer supplies to people and communities throughout the world. Do you have an old pair of cleats from the last time you upgraded your boots or soccer balls collecting dust in the garage? Does your soccer club change uniforms every season? The surplus of equipment among youth soccer leagues, high schools, colleges, former players, coaches etc is astounding. Kids outgrow shoes and they get new jerseys with each team. It’s our culture it’s what we do, replace renew. The Peace Passers organization advocates recycling, and putting gear back into play. Peace Passers provides a way for people to donate their new & used soccer gear and so far has collected over 23,000 items reaching 47 different countries.
More and more young players are leading community service projects and kids are choosing to host birthday parties encouraging their friends to bring soccer balls instead of gifts. It is a tangible way for young players to recognize that they have the power to share the game with others, and it becomes contagious. Community service isn’t just a chore it has actually become a cool thing to do!of the game.
Peace Passers does not have the capacity to ship donated gear, instead distributions are accomplished through collaboration with mission teams, sports ministries & other non-profits. Volunteers offer to carry gear in luggage or organize shipments that ensure equipment reaches areas of the world that would otherwise have little to no access to soccer equipment. Peace Passers connects people who have gear to donate with requests for gear. It’s a spot on example of collaboration. Whether you donate gear, host a collection drive or offer to carry gear to an area of need it all comes full circle in sharing the game.
To see some of the action become a fan & send the good word about Peace Passers onto your friends and family. Ask yourself that scary question, where would you be without soccer? If you find it like I do, to be a difficult answer then I encourage you to pass it forward and help in continuing to share the game with deserving people around the world.
Special thanks to the guys at Kyck.com for posting this blog & extending it out to the network. Peace Passers is looking forward to engaging with Kyck’s new digital platform that will no doubt open doors for enhancing the local & global connections that makes soccer thrive!
Candace Murray currently lives in Charlotte, NC. If you have equipment to donate, interest in organizing a fundraiser or would like to help distribute gear on your next trip contact her at email@example.com
Peace Passers is a non-profit organization tax deductible under the 501(c)(3) code of the IRS.
Once again, the KYCK blog highlights the top 5 moments in social media from this weekend in the fútbol world.
El Clásico, the biggest match from this weekend, all but settled the La Liga title race as Real Madrid beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp 2-1, breaking a seven-match winless streak against the Catalans. Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) tweeted out this picture of Xabi Alonso (@xabialonso), Esteban Granero (@eGranero11), Pepe, José María Callejón and himself after the match. Rough translation: “3 points more to glory. To continue working.” If they can win the Champions League, there’s no doubt they are the best team in the world this year.
Vancouver Whitecaps captain and defender Jay DeMerit (@D6MERIT) apparently kicked it with some of the chaps from Coldplay before the ‘Caps 1-0 win over FC Dallas. Vancouver is about as rainy as London, so no surprise DeMerit’s a fan of the Brit rockers. Cool to see Will Champion (left) and Guy Berryman (right) showing the MLS some love.
Would you hire this man as your club’s manager? Apparently Shanghai Shenhua thought that Nicolas Anelka (@anelkaofficiel) was perfect to play the role of player-head coach. Well, Le Sulk took the time to let the world know it was his first victory as a coach. Does that mean he’s previously coached teams that have never won a game? We’ll monitor this one closely.
Chelsea’s Spaniard in London Juan Mata (@juanmata10) wished his teammate David Luiz (@DavidLuiz_4) a happy 25th birthday and gave the world an exclusive look at the Brazilian’s custom birthday cake. Yes, that’s The Simpson’s Sideshow Bob dressed in a Chelsea kit. We can sleep easy knowing the Chelsea dressing room also recognizes the resemblance.
And finally, Australian journalist Neil Sherwin (@neilsherwin) showed us a little too much of the gory details when he tweeted this up-close-and-personal shot of Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz’s (@shanesmeltz) broken nose. Good use of social media? Um, yes, purely based on shock value.
Who was your favorite follow from the weekend that was?
We have big ideas. All of them are good ideas too. There is no shortage of them. The problem is saying no to most of them in order to deliver the right ideas first. Imagine trying to decide the seven fingers you want to keep. It’s a daily debate held in a leadership meeting or my head as I juggle the production schedule. Our current feature list could carry us through the rest of 2012 and that doesn’t include an Android app which several users have requested.
On the other side, we know there are bugs in the product and we thank all of our users for their feedback. We record and investigate each one. We prioritize these as well. We tend to fix bugs that affect the largest group of users first. Beyond that we address the ones that cause us the most personal pain or affect features we plan on improving soon.
Our goal with each new product release is to include at least one new feature along with bug fixes and polish. Apple’s review process limits how often we can push out new versions but know we prefer a higher frequency of product iteration.
Three final and somewhat related notes.
· We are looking to grow our product team which will speed up our version releases. If you know any web developers who want to make the jump to startup life, tell them to mention @LesPorter in a tweet.
· We submitted our latest iOS update to Apple today and it includes lots of fixes and improvements. You definitely will want to update the KYCK when you see the App Store notification in about a week.
· Lastly, we’re working on a big update that will include a lot of new functionality for soccer teams and fútbol clubs. Send me an email or tweet if you would like your club to be considered in our alpha testers group.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and thanks again to all of our users who share their KYCK experience with us and others.
In the past I’ve associated the unmistakable “flapping” sound of flip flops with crashing waves, summer heat, and the occasional Corona Light. I’ve heard that sound multiple times per day lately, but here’s the twist — it’s not summer, I’m not at the beach, and I’m not on vacation. I’m in the office, and that sound can only mean one thing: Reid Phillips, a KYCK team member, is rounding the corner approaching my office. Odds are Reid isn’t bringing me a Corona Light — he’s bringing me a problem, and we need to solve it.
Sorry…what I meant was, he’s bringing me the OPPORTUNITY to SOLVE a problem.
Because this is the land of start-ups, and most of our days feel something like this.
(except it’s not life & death…well, maybe it is for the company)
Trust me, we’re not complaining. At KYCK we are fortunate in entrepreneurial terms. We’ve raised a successful Seed financing round, we debuted our MVP in the app store last week, we have a rapidly growing and capable team, and to top it all off we work in the occasional competitive foosball session. We have enviable resources that most start-ups don’t, and we don’t take those resources or perks for granted.
That said, we are still running as lean as possible. So when a challenge arises, there’s no one to delegate to…no third party firm to outsource to. We are the end of the line.
We do this because we love it. So bring on those fire drills, Reid — we have plenty of whiteboard space and plenty of footy fans waiting on great content. Just keep bringing the emergencies in sandals.
P.S. I’ve always hated the word “brainstorm.” Can we brainstorm a new word to replace it? Bueller? Hit me with your suggestions @TrentHawthorne on Twitter.
Written by Trent Hawthorne. Striker/Middie, Orange Foosball Squad. Did some banking during the Boom, some trading during the Bust, but passionate about small business. Most passionate about his work with KYCK and Teton Gravity. He spends most of his time in business development, finance, and strategy.
Leo Messi: “The most important thing is to win.”
Take his word for it. You could win his game-worn, signed jersey. All you have to do is what your parents taught you to do: SHARE.
That’s right, when you register at KYCK.com, you receive a confirmation email with a link traced to your personal KYCK credentials. The objective is to share your link via Email, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to create other new KYCK users. If your link yields the highest number of registrants, the Messi jersey will be yours! It’s that simple.
If you can’t find your KYCK confirmation link, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will walk you through the process to retrieve your original link.