Students empower youth one pair of tennis shoes at a time

For those who happened to stroll down the second floor of Cooke Hall while research assistants organized boxes stacked high and filled with donated items, you may have been captivated, yet slightly puzzled at the sight.

These 18 boxes of donated sportswear contained a total of 465 items, including:

  • 41 pairs of youth cleats and tennis shoes
  • 13 pairs of shin guards
  • 68 pairs of women’s tennis shoes
  • 38 pairs of men’s tennis shoes
  • 39 pairs of brand-new youth Nike shoes and sandals
  • 95 sports bras
  • 12 regular bras
  • 39 women’s shorts/pants
  • 72 women’s shirts
  • 18 miscellaneous women’s clothing items
  • 22 pairs of socks
  • 8 headbands

But who were these items for, and where were they going?

The generous donations were collected by the ten undergraduate students in Prof. Dahiea Barr-Anderson’s KIN 3720 Empowering Girls Through Sport course, who traveled to Kenya over winter term. While in Kenya, the students learned how sport and physical activity impact the lives of urban and rural Kenyan youth, with a particular focus on girls. As part of the course, students were charged to collect donations of mainly shoes and sports bras to send to one of the organizations they visited in Kenya. They chose to donate the items to the Victoria Sports Association, a community-based youth football team for disadvantaged young people. The donations were so generous, however, that items also will be distributed to Sadili Oval Academy, Girls Unlimited, and Samuel O’to Academy.

To learn more about the students’ experience abroad in Kenya, visit http://umninkenya2017.edublogs.org/ to read their blog posts.

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