Published on March 27th, 2019 | by Staples Soccer1
Wreckers Volunteer With Russell And Reilly In Bridgeport
Soccer is a great game. It teaches many lessons — on and off the field.
One of the lessons Staples players learn is how to give back to their sport. Thanks to reserve coaches Russell Oost-Lievense and Reilly Lynch, 10 varsity and reserve Wreckers are spending the spring doing exactly that. They’re working with younger boys and girls in Bridgeport, just a few miles away.
This is the 3rd year that Russell — himself a former Staples captain, now a special education teacher — has worked with Brighter Lives for Kids. The non-profit runs in-school and after-school programs for underserved youngsters.
Russell organizes the soccer component. Last year, 8 Staples players volunteered at the Cesar Batalla School. Twice a week for 8 weeks, they helped 60 boys and girls learn to play and love soccer. They also mentor the kids.
One of the driving forces — last year and this — is current junior Carter Bassler.
This spring, Russell has expanded the program. It’s now twice a week for 10 weeks, and involves 80 children.
Emerson Anvari, Surya Balaji, Carter Bassler, Colin Corneck, Josh DeDomenico, Sam Liles, Brendan Lynch, Patricio Perez Elorza, Enzo Valadares and Callum Wisher are the Staples players involved. Former player Vignesh Kareddy also participates.
It’s a fantastic, important program. 100% of Cesar Batalla students qualify for state-provided breakfast and lunch by the school, because they fall into the highest bracket of poverty. They have little access to sports, beyond this program.
Of course, it takes money — for equipment, transportation and more. Click here for a GoFundMe page. Any help from the Staples soccer community is greatly appreciated.
In addition, soccer shoes and shin guards can be donated in westport. A box is set up at the front door of 40 Sturges Commons (with security camera), between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.