Thoughts from SERVE Soccer Tournament

SERVE volunteer Antonio di Mare describes our 1st 5-a-side Soccer Tournament fundraiser

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Most of the players along with Team SERVE and volunteers. Photo by José Bateira

The 5-a-side Soccer tournament was held on Sept 11th at Nemo Rangers GAA complex in Douglas, Cork. It is one of my favourite events on my journey with SERVE community.

Watching all the team players while they were playing soccer for a common goal is an unforgettable experience. They were equal parts competitive and playful. All the bruises that players got from multiple 15 min matches were forgotten by the players. I suspect they were driven by their Solidarity in Action.

Over €700 was raised on the day – this will directly assist our partners Young Africa through the SERVE Skills for Youth Resilience Programme. The funds will support over 17 graduates across Mozambique and Zimbabwe with Solar Technology business kits.

The influence and positivity has been transmitted (of course not COVID related!!) also between all the SERVE team and volunteers who have shown a great sense of commitment, to organise this fundraiser.

A warm vote of thanks to Arron the balloon man and to José Bateira who captured the special moments of the day.

At the end, I witnessed the beautiful expression of gratitude from Gerry O’Connor who is SERVE’s chairperson.

We celebrated the tournament winners and all the players, there were prizes and a humble lunch of sandwiches and juice – in classic SERVE style where each person makes their own sandwich.

I must highlight there was a sense of mutual respect, and belonging and that I feel valued for my time. Also, I can not imagine how wrecked the the players were since I myself was extremely tired after volunteering the full day.

I wish we could gather like this everyday to raise awareness about the disparities in the world. It feels great to do something together and this I believe has been the best reward.

All in all a successful day – a small win towards offering disadvantaged people a platform to realise their full potential through decent employment.

All the photographs below are by Jose Bateira.

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