By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
July 11, 2017-Through longtime coach Kieran McIlvenny, soccer players in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) are helping the people of Malawi. The African nation is one of the poorest in the world with the annual salary being less than $500.
For the past two years, players, coaches, refs and soccer fans have been donating soccer equipment and books in container bins that have been put up on soccer fields all over Eastern New York, including at the East Hudson Youth Soccer League's (EHYSL) LaGrange Soccer Club, where Kieran is the Director of Coaching.
The mission of Kieran’s non-profit charity, Kickin’ Back, is to maximize the vast potential and need for sustained attention on adolescent children in underserved communities through the use of soccer as a tool for positive social and physical development. The organization has collected 19,000 pieces of soccer equipment––including 3,150 pairs of cleats and 1,000 balls––in addition to 8,000 children’s books.
The donations about to be sent to Malawi. Kieran McIlvenny is on the far right next to his wife Donna.
The ship left the United States on June 21. It will take approximately 70 days to reach Chituka, Malawi. The ship will first travel to the port of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania where the 40-foot container will be transported over land to Malawi. It will be met there by Kalekeni Banda, Founder of the Banda Bola Sports Foundation, where the items will be distributed to Malawi schools that support the mission of Kickin' Back.
Coach Kalekeni Banda talking to EHYSL families about the very difficult situation in Malawi.
“Thank you to all of our volunteers and donors and to our friends at Arnoff Moving & Storage,” Kieran stated. “The people of Malawi, especially the children, will absolutely benefit from the many items that were sent.”
Kieran will also be travelling to Malawi next spring on a follow-up trip. All the material donated is in addition to the large number of items from Eastern New York that were given through Kickin’ Back to the people of Namibia two years ago.
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.