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Sport Changes Children’s Lives Through Kick For A Cause

For many children around the world, having a soccer ball makes all the difference. It was that way for fifth year Men's Soccer player Imran Karama who was raised in a village where the only soccer ball they owned was a ball they made out of plastic bags and strings. But for Karama and his friends, playing soccer was an escape from the hardships of a war that ravaged his village, increased poverty and separated families.

In 2012, while a second year student at CMU, Karama met Kickballs For Kids founder, Chris Thompson, who was on campus speaking about his organization at the Copa de la Paz Futsal Tournament. While on a trip to Africa, the former CMU Basketball player witnessed children just like Karama playing with plastic bag soccer balls and decided that he would try to do something about it. Thompson began giving away soccer balls to children that he met in the villages and in a matter of days, lives began to change and smiles were on the faces of children; Kickballs For Kids was born!

Thompson's presentation made a big impact on Karama, who knew first hand what kind of impact one soccer ball could make in the lives of the children. It was through this chance meeting that the idea of Kick For A Cause was dreamed up with it's first event taking place in September 2014.

Today, Kick For A Cause enters the second round. Kick For A Cause is about experiencing the way sport is played in poverty-stricken communities. The games are played with balls made of plastic bags and string with shirts as goal posts and without shoes. The teams choose an African country to represent and play in a tournament to raise awareness of how sport brings joy and hope.

Last year the funds raised by Kick For A Cause were coupled with funds provided to Kickballs For Kids at Linden Christian School to buy uniforms and equipment for a new soccer team at Great Valley Children's Centre in Kampala, Uganda; a country that Karama spent many years in before coming to Canada as a refugee. The team will wear green and gold and be known as the GVCC Blazers, taking on the name and colours of Karama's team, the CMU Blazers.

For more information on today's Kick For A Cause event; to be involved or to provide a donation to Kickballs For Kids, meet on the southside of CMU's campus at 3 pm today. All players are asked to provide a minimum donation of $5.

Karama and his CMU Men's Soccer team are in action tomorrow at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex as they host North Central University from Minneapolis in an International friendly at 1:30pm. The CMU women will take the pitch at 11am.



Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association