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Fraser, Harris and Rapids team up to benefit youth soccer in Jamaica

Hosting a gently used or new soccer cleats and balls collection drive at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park ahead of Saturday’s Minnesota United vs Colorado match.

The nonprofit organization Football for the World Foundation (FFWF) USA has teamed up with its first MLS club, the Colorado Rapids, to host a one-day drive and collect donated soccer boots and balls for youth soccer programs throughout the Caribbean nation of Jamaica.

The event will take place this Saturday ahead of and during the Rapids contest with Minnesota United at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park this Saturday evening. The intraconference game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Spectators and visitors alike can drop off new and gently-used gear at a collection tent erected outside Gate F, located in the Southwest corner of the stadium.

According to FFWF’s website, its programming is designed to set individuals and communities up for sustainable success. The NGO aims to harness the power of collaboration with schools, sports clubs, nonprofits, community groups, individuals, and corporations. Foremost, its mission centers around improving children’s quality of life through the game of football.

Headquartered in Nebraska, FFWF-USA has organized drives, delivered equipment, and educated the youth of communities domestic and abroad.

Its founder and executive director, Monica Bosiljevac, started the foundation while playing soccer and traveling in college. The rising philanthropist played soccer for the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Seeing the under-served soccer communities in countries like Botswana and Tanzania inspired her to do more stateside to help elevate their game and potential for growth.

This particular campaign will specifically benefit youth in greater Jamaica. Both Rapids head coach Robin Fraser and his assistant coach, Wolde Harris, are natives of Kingston, Jamaica. The duo will not only deliver the donated items; they intend to lead a coaches’ clinic during the Rapids’ next off-season break.

Harris and Fraser participated in event-related promotional video production. They reflected on their days as youth soccer players in their home country and described the joy of playing the game with out-of-the-box football gear and wearing new and authentic boots.

Wolde best summed up the pure benefits, both personal and for Jamaican youth, of the pop-up drive. “I think getting this new equipment is definitely inspirational for them and motivational. It’s something that’s going to push them to want to go out and train and want to go out and play the sport, even more, learn more about the sport.

John Babiak

He continued, “And I think that’s great for us that have been through it and know what it takes to get here to give back to them and inspire them to keep on moving forward on their journey.”