Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Give old soccer uniforms a new life

By
From page A4 | May 26, 2013 | 2 Comments

Kids who participate in youth sports accumulate a variety of benefits: self-confidence, discipline, a healthy body and team spirit. They also accumulate a pile of old uniforms and equipment.

Michael Vernau, a Holmes Junior High eighth-grader and soccer player, wants to put those old uniforms to good use.

“About a month ago, my coach (who is Nigerian) asked my team if we had any spare jerseys, shorts, socks, shin guards and boots lying around that we could donate to his old Nigerian high school, which is not fortunate enough to have equipment,” Michael said.

“I looked in my drawers and had tons of previous (AYSO) Select and fall soccer uniforms, as well as old cleats, doing nothing but collecting dust,” Michael continued. “Ever since, I have been thinking: How many other people have former uniforms that aren’t ever used, and how many more impoverished kids could use them?”

Michael’s coach happens to be Jammal Anibaba, father of Chicago Fire defender Jalil Anibaba, a 2007 Davis High School graduate. Anibaba’s two other sons, Sule and Jammil, also played soccer for Davis High and UC Davis.

Jammal Anibaba inspired Michael to start a donation program, which he, in turn, hopes will inspire locals to look through their old soccer uniforms and gear for items to pass along.

Michael pointed out that “most AYSO Select teams end their season after the Davis World Cup” — a tournament being played all over Davis through Monday — so players with extra clothing or equipment might be ready to donate now.

Michael’s mom, Karen, pointed out, “He will happily accept dirty uniforms — he is now all trained up in how to wash clothes!”

To donate, people can call or text Michael at 530-304-9450, or email him at kmvernau@ucdavis.edu. He will arrange to pick up donations and “send them off to help children across the globe experience the benefits and joys of this great game.”

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Discussion | 2 comments

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  • KimMay 26, 2013 - 3:15 pm

    What an inspiration this young man is! At a time when youth are often criticized for being self-absorbed techno-junkies, this grade 8 student is showing adults that his generation has a lot to teach us. If a 14-year old can share his love of sport with youth on the other side of the globe by creating a socially-minded and selfless movement, then there is help for us yet! Way to go Michael!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Freddy pintoJuly 18, 2013 - 5:52 pm

    We are over 50 years old team the mane is 6 st bulldog we desperate need uniforms please any body help the teams may be use uniforms ok.we play in Paterson nj help cell 973 437 5444

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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