The Switchbacks got the opportunity to meet a soccer team from Belize that came to the United States for Rush Fest thanks to the Southeast Springs Soccer Initiative (SeSSI). The team is made up of a group of underprivileged kids from Belize, that come from high gang violence areas and find their escape through soccer. As part of a continued partnership with SeSSI, Rony Argueta, Diego Gutierrez, and Davy Armstrong met the team, played soccer and talked to them about the importance of staying in school and away from gang violence in addition. It was a very rewarding experience for the players.
"SeSSI continues to impress me by giving underprivileged kids from Belize and opportunity to come to the US to experience a safer, cleaner, enjoyable, caring and loving environment," said Switchbacks Captain Rony Argueta, who has worked very closely with SeSSI as a coach. "Getting to meet these kids and learning about them is extremely rewarding because it reminds me not to take the little things for granted. These kids grow up in areas of high gang violence and low-risk income, where their lives are at risk every day. Being able to speak, run around and kick a soccer ball with them makes me incredibly happy."
"I can really relate to these kids," said Davy Armstrong. "They have grown up underprivileged and I've always told myself if I'm in a position to be a role model, I will gladly do it. I remember looking up to the pros and the hope they gave me to follow my dreams as a child and I am in a position to give these children hope so I happily jumped at the opportunity to help gets whenever I can. Just as Martin Luther King Jr. said 'everyone can be great because everyone can serve.' I believe that is the strongest motto to live by."
Southeast Springs Soccer Initiative engages at-risk youth and families through soccer by bringing together law enforcement and community partners. To learn more, visit their website here.
Tickets for all Switchbacks matches start at just $12. For the full list of matches and to purchase tickets click here.