Norwich, VT (February 18, 2015) – Grassroot Soccer (GRS), an international nonprofit that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize youth to live healthy lives, and Woza Soccer, a Seattle-based nonprofit that leads American high school soccer players on life-changing, soccer-based service trips to developing countries, today announced a partnership which will allow high school soccer players to experience the work and impact of GRS during an 18-day trip to Cape Town, South Africa in June and July of 2015.
Woza Soccer was founded by Chris Kaimmer, a Grassroot Soccer field intern from 2009-2010 who later went on to teach high school history and coach soccer in Boston. He returned to his home of Seattle in 2013 to launch Woza, whose name is inspired by the local slang he heard on Zulu soccer fields surrounding his GRS intern site of Mtubatuba, South Africa (“Woza” translates to “Come” in isiZulu, but in soccer lingo it means “Pass the ball!”). “The ease of connecting to South Africans through soccer during my year as a GRS intern was a key inspiration when I started Woza,” said Chris Kaimmer recently on a visit to the GRS office in Norwich.
Woza Soccer led its first trip in July 2014, bringing 12 high school soccer players from across the United States to South Africa where they worked with a variety of soccer teams and sport organizations including a series of service projects with Grassroot Soccer. The 2015 trip will be entirely focused on GRS and the group will spend almost every day of the trip at the Football For Hope Centre in the township of Khayelitsha, both learning about and actively engaging in the work of GRS. The group’s experience will culminate in assisting with the organization and execution of a SKILLZHoliday Camp, one of the key programs that GRS uses to empower South African youth to live healthy lives.
“Partnering with Woza is a natural fit for Grassroot Soccer, as we are all about getting youth engaged in living healthier lives through soccer,” said Rob Adams, Grassroot Soccer President & COO. “The high school players who make these life-changing trips will get to see first-hand the powerful and positive impact of sport on the lives of young people living in challenging circumstances, while bringing their own enthusiasm and energy to driving meaningful impact.”
Aside from working with GRS, the group will play soccer every day (training with local teams and playing friendly matches around Cape Town), visit a wildlife reserve and also learn about the complex history and culture of South Africa. Chris Kaimmer and a female co-leader will serve as leaders and chaperones for the duration of the trip.
The experience is open to rising 10th-12th graders and will take place between June 29-July 16, 2015. Full details about the trip – including a detailed itinerary and online application instructions – can be found on Woza’s GRS trip page here: http://www.wozasoccer.