Texas Tech Taus host their own 2010 World Cup
Today’s soccer tournament was anything but ordinary. It’s a philanthropic event in honor of Private First Class Nick Madares, a marine who was once stationed in Iraq.
“He (Nick) played soccer all his life and he joined the Marines. While he was over there, he noticed that a lot of the kids could play soccer really well but they didn’t have the right materials or equipment to play with. So when he was home on leave one day, he decided to bring a couple balls to give to the kids while he was there,” said Roshan Sharma, a member of Alpha Tau Omega, and a co-organizer for the days event.
Madares was killed by a roadside bomb in 2006 before he could deliver the soccer balls. His family and members of Texas Tech’s Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity are now working to carry out his mission, in his name.
“(The) Kick for Nick foundation has donated more than 28,000 balls to Iraq and other third world countries. The way it got started, was, I saw it and wanted to see how we could promote the community of Lubbock as well as helping them out,” said Sharma.
Sharma says about 250 people took part in the ATO’s world cup tourney. “Each organization that’s participating has four teams of five girls, so about 180 girls as well as our whole fraternity is here. It’s been a great turnout. I’m really happy.” He says they asked participants to donate soccer balls, and or money to be used for postage.
So far, they’ve collected about $800 dollars and dozens of balls.
“To have the whole community support us, not just the community alone but everyone in general, because you don’t really know what you can do until you have everyone helping you out and it’s just amazing the amount of stuff we can accomplish together,” said Sharma.
This is the first year this event has taken place in Lubbock. ATO members say they plan to make it an annual tradition.
Sharma says next year, they plan to put the names of fallen Lubbock soldiers on the soccer balls, as well as Nick’s name. They’ll be sending all of the collections to Connecticut, where the foundation is based, in the next few days.