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Hingham helped provide cleats for Nicaraguan children

The following excerpt comes from the Hingham Journal in Hingham, Massachusetts, and was originally published on December 1, 2011.

I had always heard soccer called the Worlds game. In rural Nicaragua where Im serving as a Peace Corps volunteer the phrase has proven true. In a village suffering extreme poverty, its the only recreational activity and kids play every day, many without shoes, on a dirt field with broken glass, sharp rocks and donkey manure.

Last year I came up with the idea to collect soccer equipment from back home and provide it to kids playing in the village where I live. This year, with cleats and jerseys donated by the Hingham community Ive started the villages first girls soccer league, Ive launched the first Kickers team playing abroad and I helped a player from my community earn a spot on a professional soccer team.

My mother, Diana Clarke, past President of Hingham Youth Soccer (HYS), held the equipment drive in coordination with HYS and the PTOs of each of the public schools. In a few weeks we collected over 150 pairs of cleats and over 200 jerseys.

Hingham Youth Soccer, Peace Corps Nicaragua, the United States Embassy in Nicaragua, Eurosports Passback Program and the US Soccer Foundation all helped with shipping costs. It took months to coordinate and everything finally reached the community where Im serving this past summer.

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