LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western women’s soccer team will embark on a 16-day missions and service trip to Paraguay this Monday that will see the team serve in a variety of capacities throughout the country.
Partnering with SportAid, the Spartans side will work with the local Paraguay agencyTransformando Juntos Paraguay to help serve in nutrition stations, while also running a number of soccer clinics for the local children and assisting in an assortment of locally-driven service projects.
“It’s a unique opportunity to combine sport with simply loving people and caring for underprivileged kids, while also, hopefully, in the midst of it, having our own lives impacted and stretched,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh, whose team will be in Paraguay from April 27 to May 14.
In conjunction with local Paraguayan organizations, the TWU group, which will feature 21 athletes and six coaches and support staff, will also help build two homes and assist in painting a school.
“SportAid’s tagline is, ‘Our goal is to assist,’ so from a TWU perspective, we are just trying to be the hands and feet of assisting wherever our partner organization wants us to assist,” Roxburgh said. “Everything will be about loving people, serving people and giving back through sport while trying to demonstrate God’s love.”
While the trip will largely be an opportunity to serve off the pitch, the Spartans will still have a few chances to lace up their boots on the pitch as the team will have the chance to play four different games, including one against Paraguay’s Under-20 national team and one against Paraguay’s senior national side.
“Playing these games serves a great purpose in that it helps the local organizations continue to build relationships with government and sport federations,” Roxburgh said. “We’ve helped open some doors for the soccer federation and these games will help assist with their on-going programs.”
Transformando Juntos Paraguay helps with the care of 12,000 children weekly through more than 300 nutrition centres. Thanks to SportAid, nearly 60 of those nutrition centres now have a sports element.
This year’s trip follows on the heels of the Spartans women’s basketball team’s trip to Paraguay last year in which the team also partnered with SportAid. Trinity Western’s women’s volleyball team also took a similar venture to Paraguay in 2011.
Prior to this trip, the women’s soccer team’s most recent trip abroad was in 2012, when it served in the countries of South Africa and Swaziland.