By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- With all that can be learned from the sport, soccer is about more than just kicking a ball in to a net.
This is what the Florida Tech Athletic Department hopes to prove through tis partnership with a nonprofit organization.
GIVE N GO is a national nonprofit that uses sports as a means to bridge the gap of socioeconomic status by creating a team atmosphere, building self-confidence and instilling hope in abandoned at-risk youth.
For the second year, the Florida Tech Athletics Program and the FIT women's soccer team are partnering with the organization for the remainder of the 2012-13 academic year to collect new and used soccer equipment for the "The Give N Go Project."
"(This project) gives not just to the community, but to the surrounding conference in the state of Florida," said Jonathan Hower, assistant athletic communications director for Florida Tech Athletics. "I know the girls are really excited to do this project. It is something that the players took in and not just the coaches."
GIVE N GO collects and donates used and new soccer gear, as well as conducts clinics at orphanages abroad and foster homes in the United States.
For the donations, Mr. Hower said the women's soccer team has set up red collection bins at the front desk of the Clemente Center on the Florida Tech campus.
Mr. Hower said FIT junior and goalkeeper Emma Ahlstrand is in charge of collecting and gathering the donations for the project.
"It's a great program. Our head coach has worked with it for years, and he got us involved. I'm really glad that he did," she said. "Kids get joy from soccer, and the project will also grow and help soccer, here in the U.S., become a national sport."
Mr. Hower said that head coach Fidgi Haig, former Haiti national player, has traveled to Haiti for the program in the past and has mentored the kids there.
GIVE N Go will accept any used soccer gear, including cleats, shin guards, uniforms, socks, running shoes, workout clothes and balls.
For more information, contact Jonathan Hower at (321) 674-7484.
The Florida Tech Clemente Center is located at 150 W. University Blvd in Melbourne.
For more information about the project, visit www.thegivengoproject.org.