This past weekend I participated in and volunteered to help with the Kick HIV/Patae el VIH soccer tournament. As I may of mentioned I was really excited to be a part of this tournament. It brings two things that I hold near and dear to my heart (Soccer & HIV Awareness) together in one event. The tournament was on Saturday October 9th which was National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. Since it was NLAAD The event was completely ran in Spanish. It was great even though I don't speak much Spanish. It all took place in South Philly right next to Geno's Steaks. I was craving a cheese steak all day but refuse to stand in a line of 50 people to get one.
The Falcon members that volunteered got up early around 9am to line the fields and set up the goals. The adult tournament started at 11:30am and went on until about 2:30pm. There were a total of 6 co-ed teams and all the teams played at least four 25 minute games. My team, The BLACK Team, made it to the championship and won the tournament with a record of 5 wins and 1 loss. We played really well together considering the language barrier.. just goes to show you that the language of Soccer is universal.
During the adult tournament SocceRoo, the Philadelphia Kixx mascot, showed up to take photos and entertain the kids. When I first saw SocceRoo show up at the tournament, I ran over to my soccer bag and grabbed my Dab the AIDS Bear to get a photo with him. I am an Ambassador of Hope for Dab The AIDS Bear Project and I try my best to get photo with my Dab while spreading his 29 year message of hope.
After the adult tournament, the kids had their tournament. It was such an amazing feeling seeing those kids running around after the soccer ball. They were having so much fun while their parent and loved ones were being educated about HIV/AIDS.
They also had the option of getting a rapid HIV test and results in 10 minutes by the Mazzoni Center. After I was done playing all my games I took the opportunity to walk around and introduce myself to some of the local ASO's and fellow activists. I even handed out a bunch of condom to my teammates explaining they need to protect themselves first and foremost.The event even had drummers and dancers there to entertain the kids and adults. The sounds of the drums beating and watching the women dance brought a sense of unity to the crowd. It was really an amazing feeling.
The Kick HIV tournament is an event I plan to help out with every year. I wanted to thank the Philadelphia Falcons for being involved with this amazing event. One day we hope it will draw a big crowd like the Philly AIDS Walk. Which reminds me I am walking in the Philly AIDS Walk this Sunday October 17th, If you would like to donate to my goal and help me help others living with HIV/AIDS in Philadelphia please do so here.
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