By Chrissy Wesney
The weather was nice, the music was loud and the soccer balls were flying as students and faculty played soccer for CARE.
The second annual Ohio Wesleyan University Soccer for Food competition took place on Nov. 10 and 11 at the practice field across from the Meek Aquatic and Recreation Center.
The competition raised money for CARE, a humanitarian aid group in East Africa. The organization is for famine relief that also helps with medical supplies, families and orphanages.
Senior Sarah Johnston said she got the inspiration for this event after she studied abroad in Tanzania for wildlife conservation two years ago.
“I want over for the animals, but I think I fell in love with the people more than the animals,” Johnston said.
Johnston said that she would play soccer every day with the children while in Tanzania and was inspired by how happy they war.
“I learned Swahili, but the only words that I can remember are the soccer terms,” Johnston said. “It was kind of like soccer became the universal language that we didn’t have to understand each other, per se, to play together.”
After she came back, she discussed with friends what they could do to help the children in Africa.
“(The kids) wouldn’t be playing with shoes; they wouldn’t have eaten that day. Just worst case scenario, typical stuff you see on commercials. But you never really know until you see it, and you’re so affected by it,” Johnston said.
Johnston said the whole point of the competition was that she didn’t want to “beg people for money, or show pictures of dying, starving children, but to recreate when (she) got to out and play soccer.”
Senior Magdalena Jacobo said she decided to participate in the event this year because she heard about the competition last year, but was unable to attend.
“I think it’s a good event because besides different organizations coming together for a cause, there is a fellowship among the participants even if the matches become sort of competitive,” Jacobo said.
This year, 11 teams participated in the competition, which is less than the 16 teams that participated in last year’s event.
“We have a few less teams this year because of sports tournaments, and fraternity and sorority events,” Johnston said. “That’s unfortunate, but we still have a great amount.”
Last year, the competition raised around $1500, and Johnston said that this year’s goal is to get just over that amount.
Johnston said one thing that is amazing about this year’s competition is the prizes for the champions.
“Last year, we had a prize for the champion, but it was just shirts because we didn’t have any additional funding,” Johnston said. “But this year we’re having medals and Amato’s donated $100 in gift cards, bringing other people to donate as well.”
Johnston thanked the volunteers who helped her run the event.
“It’s really cool that we get faculty members to participate and students from (different clubs),” Johnston said.