Women’s soccer team continues Kick for Nick foundation
Edgar Ayala – Sports Writer
In July of 2006, Private Nick Madaras of Wilton, Conn., rounded up soccer balls to try and send them back to the children of Iraq near his post.
But on Sept. 3, 2006, he was never able to distribute those soccer balls as an IED bomb went off in Baqoub, Iraq, and killed the 19-year-old while on foot patrol.
Now, Southern Connecticut’s women’s soccer team continues to show support for the Kick for Nick foundation by hosting soccer balls collections in their Oct. 3 and Oct. 17 home games.
Head coach Adam Cohen said there was one reason behind the constant support in participating for the organization.
“It’s just a personal nature of Kick for Nick,” Coach Cohen said. “Nick Madaras was from Connecticut; he was involved with soccer and a military member that gave his life for our country. We are just really honored and humbled to be a part of it.”
According to the organization, Kick for Nick has gone worldwide, as they have received soccer balls from 47 states in America and letters supporting the organization from countries all over the world.
This is the Owls’ third year in a row collecting and donating soccer balls for Kick for Nick.
The lady Owls have amassed almost 50 soccer balls in their Oct. 3 game against the University of New Haven. 100 soccer balls in last year’s collection, and nearly 200 balls in their first year supporting the organization, according to junior captain Christine Allard.
“Three years ago, Jack Mordente, who is in charge of veteran services at Southern, reached out to Coach Cohen explaining the purpose of Kick for Nick,” said Allard.
“He asked the team if we would be interested in participating. We immediately thought it would be a great opportunity to take part in an organization that we all were very passionate about.”
Additionally, Allard said that their goal for this year’s collection is to reach out to as many people possible, in hopes of accumulating the largest shipment of soccer balls yet.
One donor, freshman Alyson Clarke, said she gave up her ball as she loves doing things for other people and wanted to show others that there is many ways to help those in need.
“It felt amazing, knowing something that I didn’t use anymore can really make someone else’s day,” said Clarke. “Giving someone an old soccer ball is such a small thing, but it does so much.”
Allard said their expectations of collecting soccer balls are higher this year, but she still hopes that the kids receiving the balls are as happy as she is when donating them.
“I can’t begin to imagine what some of the children in Iraq go through on a daily basis, but my hopes are that receiving something as simple as a soccer ball will put a smile on their face,” said junior, Allard.
According to the organization, Kick For Nick’s mission is to continue Nick Madaras dream of spreading peace through the collection soccer balls, and giving them to the less fortunate children around the world.
The Southern community can join the women’s soccer team in helping Kick for Nick collect soccer balls when the Owls take on Merrimack College on Saturday Oct. 17.
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications