Loyola And Men's Soccer Program Receive Community Partner Award

June 6, 2013

BALTIMORE - The Loyola University Maryland Men’s Soccer program and Loyola’s Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ) were honored on Monday June 3, 2013 with the Soccer Without Borders (SWB) – Baltimore - Community Partner Award.  Together, the men’s soccer program and CCSJ partner with this local refugee program to help the participants learn to interact in their new home.  

The Greyhounds’ men’s soccer program has worked with the staff of SWB to coordinate weekly soccer clinics to work with the boys program.  CCSJ has worked with SWB by coordinating tutoring and other services to help support the program.   The award was presented at the Journey to America Fundraising Dinner on Monday evening.  Members of the Loyola Men’s Soccer and Athletic Staffs and the CCSJ staff attended the dinner celebrating the SWB program.

Loyola men’s soccer head coach Mark Mettrick and assistant coaches Matt Dwyer and Bryan Harkin, in addition to members of the men’s soccer program are committed to making a difference in the community and have made SWB the focus of their community service outreach.

The Center for Community Service and Justice invites all members of the Loyola community to inform their minds and experiences through educative community service opportunities in Baltimore and beyond.

CCSJ offers a variety of service opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and administrators, and hope to have something for everyone.  CCSJ is committed to building partnerships with organizations that work with people who are marginalized. This collaboration ensures a productive, transformative experience not only for clients and beneficiaries of the agencies, but also (and perhaps more so) for those who serve.

Soccer Without Borders Baltimore City began in the fall of 2009 in response to various state, local and non-profit agencies that serve the city’s burgeoning refugee population identifying a need for positive recreational programming for area refugee youth. In response, SWB Baltimore emerged to provide opportunities in the form of soccer, simultaneously encouraging healthy living while developing English-language abilities, teamwork, academic success and cross-cultural skills.

SWB Baltimore’s mission is to use soccer to promote positive change. SWB does this by providing refugee, asylee, and immigrant youth with a toolkit that they can use to overcome obstacles that might otherwise inhibit growth, inclusion and success. They utilize the global power of soccer to create positive life changes through five key programming areas: soccer play and instruction, off-field lessons and academic tutoring, civic engagement, team building and cultural exchange. Currently, SWB Baltimore serves middle school and high school students. The student-athletes who make up the program have recently arrived to Baltimore City from a variety of countries, including but not limited to, Cameroon, Eritrea, Somalia, Rwanda, DRC, Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Mexico, Sudan, Guinea, Iraq, Bhutan and Nepal.

While these young people come from diverse backgrounds, they share a passion for soccer and a genuine interest in and desire to engage with their new surroundings. Few of these kids have ever played organized soccer or had their own equipment or proper coaching. In addition to regular programming, participants have the opportunity to enjoy special events such as college visits, summer camp, conferences and trainings, and outings to watch college and professional soccer games.