By Delinda Lombardo on
NBA star Tracy McGrady and Adidas have stepped up to support Darfur United in its bid to get to the 2012 Viva World Cup.
Darfur United is an all-refugee soccer team made up of Darfuri refugees living in camps in Eastern Chad. The same camps McGrady visited in 2007. But before he left, he told the refugees he would ‘never forget’ them. And he didn’t.
This week, McGrady stepped up in a big way. He not only contacted Darfur United about supporting them, he also spoke with Adidas who generously agreed to outfit the team as they prepare for the games.
“It’s a true honor to help Darfur United,” McGrady said. “When I visited the camps and saw what adversities they face everyday, it is a true joy to see the Darfuri people raise together and find hope and meaning from sport. Basketball gave me a way out of the challenges I faced as I was growing up and I know this team, the sport and true competition will bring pride, teamwork, and dedication to the people of Darfur. I’m looking forward to seeing some amazing athletes out there. Proud to call them friends”
“The people in the camps think of Tracy as a friend,” wrote IAct Founder Gabriel Stauring. “They ask me, ’How is our friend, Tracy?” They want him to know that they also think about him. T-Mac was also instrumental in the creation of the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program, which is providing funding for primary education in the camps and connecting students from the United States with students in the refugee camps. We have been involved in this project from its inception, and the relationships and real changes in education will ripple positively in to the future of Darfur."
To learn more and follow the journey, please visit DarfurUnited.com.
A full interview with iAct Founder Gabriel Stauring can be read here.
Darfur United is an all-refugee soccer team made up of Darfuri refugees living in camps in Eastern Chad. Not only is Darfur United a team, it is also a movement – a movement to bring hope, inspiration, and joy to the displaced people of Darfur.
Throughout the camps, soccer is the uniting passion. Even though rivalries exist over who the best team and best players are, just about everyone loves to join in a game. It was this spirit that inspired the formation of an official team to compete at an international event – the 2012 Viva World Cup in Iraqi Kurdistan.
i-ACT, based in Redondo Beach, California, is the leading organization working on the ground in refugee camps in Eastern Chad, with established relationships and partners since 2005. An expedition team visits the camps twice a year, and maintains internet connectivity and communication year-round. Darfur United is coached by Mark Hodson and Dean Ward of Evolution Soccer and Manhattan Beach Sand & Surf Soccer Club, and Paul Revill of Little Rascalz Soccer and San Diego Surf’s men’s team.
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