Soccer players Luke Jenner and Ricky Marton will go to Brazil during the world cup to do charity work with Lionsraw organization.
They will stay for nine days helping children in need.
“This is something that I wanted to do. I always wanted to go to a world cup since I was a little kid,” Jenner said.
There are several of reasons why they wanted to go to Brazil and help. Not only because Brazil seems an “exotic” place, but also because Jenner has thought about the philanthropy of charity work.
“I have had experience with coaching kids with different backgrounds. Now that we are finished with our soccer careers we want to stay involved in the game and this is the perfect opportunity to do that,” Jenner said.
Jenner said that people who live in the country that host a world cup will want to be involved, but to him these kids will probably not have that opportunity.
“Give them some energy and hopefully coach them and teach them a few things. Maybe they will teach us a few things,” Jenner said.
Marton traveled to Germany last summer and worked with an organization and worked with kids.
“For me that was one of my favorite things, not to sound cheesy, but making those kids really happy. The combination of soccer, the world cup and the charity event, it seems like a perfect package to me,” Marton said.
Marton and Jenner pay a certain amount to the charity for the nine days they will spend in Brazil for food and accommodation. Part of it will go to the charity.
While putting all the money together Jenner realized that money was going to be a “problem”
Marton and Jenner where in the same page which is why Jenner invited him to join the mission.
Marton’s brother is attending the world cup, so that pushed him to follow Jenner’s plan to go to Brazil.
“It will be a big bonus if we go to one of the games, but it is not all about that,” Marton said.
Both soccer players expect to learn from these kids as well as the kids learn from them.
“We are definitely open to whatever is around the corner. We go in there with few expectations. We don’t know what we are in for,” Jenner said.
None of them have been exposed to poverty before
“This is the perfect trip to broaden our horizons,” Jenner said.
According to Marton they are not sure what they will end up doing.
“This is an opportunity to open our eyes and get another experience to see what we can get from that,” Marton said.
Jenner and Marton do not know Portugues, but they see it as an adventure.
“While we don’t speak the same language necessarily, we can use soccer to understand each other. Use the passions that we share for the game,” Jenner said.
Jenner is used to not having that personal space when it comes to be surrounded by people, so he will be comfortable with South American cultures that do not have that personal space compared to Americans.
They do not know yet what age group they will work with.
“I have coached different ages and you need to be quite adaptable. What works for a 7-year-year old is not going to work for a 15-year-old,” Jenner said.
Jenner and Marton said they enjoy working with kids.
“Kids just have this energy, especially young kids. They are passionate and energetic that is why I enjoy working with kids,” Jenner said.
Marton said that he remembers when he was little and someone older than him did something for him he saw him as a hero.
“It will be really cool, whenever you do something [for the kids] they look at us like some higher idol, but we are not really. We are just college students,” Marton said.
Photo courtesy of Luke Jenner