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Loudoun Soccer travels to South Africa to help kids in need

Kits for Kids — it sounds like maybe it has something to do with cats — unless you’re a soccer player or fan. Then you know that a “kit” is the name of the soccer uniform players wear during a match. This past fall, Loudoun’s largest youth soccer league — Loudoun Soccer — turned used kits into a force for good halfway around the world.

Soccer is king in Loudoun County and there are lots of families with lots of old soccer clothing and equipment that their kids have outgrown.  Loudoun Soccer decided to start collecting this equipment and apparel for young players who could benefit from it. They dubbed the plan Kits for Kids.

Kits for Kids is the brainchild of Daryn Patricio, the Director of Player Development for Loudoun Soccer. He grew up in South Africa where he played and coached at both the prep level and professionally. He frequently encountered young people who struggled with the basics of everyday life — such as food and shelter, but still loved participating in local soccer leagues.

“Some kids have next to nothing, and a little bit of hope goes a long way to helping them enjoy the game we all love,” Patricio said.

Even though he now lives and works in Loudoun County, Patricio never forgot the need he saw. So, this past December, Patricio took a huge batch of donated kits back to South Africa where he and his family distributed the material to young soccer players there.

More than 150 kids from Amabhubesi FC and Ekhayalethu Rising Stars of North Rand Football Association received new gear from Kits for Kids and Loudoun Soccer.

“These kits are not going to change Amabhubesi kid’s life only,” wrote Promise Nkomo, the Amabhubesi team manager, in a letter. “They will change the whole community of Johannesburg because we are going (to) bring more kids to the team as we are now having enough training equipment and kits for them.”

“Everyone is talking about Loudoun Soccer in Johannesburg today,” Nkomo added.

Kits for Kids proved so successful that Loudoun Soccer is considering ways to continue it and potentially help young soccer players both locally and overseas. To find out more about Loudoun Soccer and the Kits for Kids program, click here and head over the Loudoun Soccer website.

(This is a sponsored post on behalf of Loudoun Soccer.)