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R.E.A.C.H Program: Next Stop Cameroon

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cameroonThe Rush Equipment Assisting Children Program keeps endeavoring and working hard to bring soccer gear to all our partners throughout the world. Our latest aim is to visit Cameroon Rush to send them soccer equipment while sharing our passion and soccer knowledge with one of the best soccer countries in Africa.

The Republic of Cameroon, also called “Africa in miniature” for its geological and cultural diversity, is known for its successful National Soccer Team and for being the birthplace of many African soccer legends, such as Roger Milla (Yaoundé, 1952), Marc-Vivien Foé (Nkolo, 1975), and Samuel Eto'o (Duala, 1981). The Indomitable Lions, famous Cameroonian nickname, has won four African Cup of Nations and the soccer gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sidney.

10.06.12 - africancupofnationsThe coaching exchange trip to Cameroon will be from January 14th, until February 8th. The first responsibility of the experienced coaches of the Rush family will be to supply the gear that Cameroon Rush needs to play soccer in better conditions. Another important part of the trip will be the training aspect which includes mini Rush Fests, Coaches Clinics, and several training sessions with the Cameroon Rush’ top teams.

Four experienced Rush coaches will participate in this project with a common goal: help and collaborate through the R.E.A.C.H Program in Cameroon. Brian Lux, one of the members of the trip recognizes: “The gear and the soccer balls are really important, but the biggest challenge is to show Cameroon Rush how much we support them. They are on the other side of the globe, but they are still part of the Rush Family.” Lux has been a part of the Rush Family since 1997 and he has won six State Cups in a row as a player. He joined the coaching staff of Colorado Rush in 2007 and became a DOC for Rush Pikes Peak in 2010.

The members of the trip will share their knowledge, passion, and love for soccer, but they also want to acquire new skills as well: “I am very excited to learn from the players and coaches there. Here we complain about the grass on our fields when it´s too long and they don’t even have grass. There are great players in Cameroon and hopefully the next Roger Milla will wear Rush blue,” assures Lux. The motivation to gain knowledge is a shared aim between all the coaches: “I really want to learn new ideas and ways of teaching from the coaches around me. I also think the trip will help broaden my understanding of the Rush Way in Cameroon and work to help them implement the club culture,” says Deb Benakis, from Iowa Rush. Deb already has experience helping in Africa, specifically in Uganda where she volunteered with a non-profit group called Soccer Without Borders.

10.06.12 - Cameroon Exchange
Members of Cameroon Rush visiting Colorado
in February 2012 

All the coaches are aware that soccer is a considerable tool to help a community: “Rush Soccer allows these players to continue with the sport they love while bringing family and friends,” notes Alexander Mendolia, NY Rush coach and member of the trip. Soccer is the world’s game and everyone can play at some level.  Soccer is hope and the Rush Family distributes it all over the world. Next R.E.A.C.H stop: Cameroon. The fourth coach attending the trip is also a fellow NY Rush coach, Cara Nelson, who just like Deb has had experience working with youths in Tanzania.

We will be receiving articles from the coaches about their trip so watch this space to see how it all went!

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