Ukraine Hope Tour lands in Hermantown using soccer to escape trauma
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The war continues in Ukraine, but FC Minaj a team of Ukrainian athlete-refugees, they are using the sport of soccer and their skills in the effort to escape trauma, via the game they love.
“It is a great opportunity for them to meet their first international player. These kids have been really great as role models, as a player, athlete and person it will be a lot of fun for them to meet these boys,” said Hermantown competitive coordinator Bryce Hanson.
"The tour is giving these teen athletes, their coaches and parent chaperones an opportunity to escape the trauma of war and experience a meaningful international cultural exchange with youth from around the world,” said Peter Wohler, the executive director of Source MN.
“It’s a miracle, thanks to God and our American friends, we are here because of them,” said FC Minaj player Andrii Ketsuk.
Over half of the players in attendance had never visited America before. Marking the occasion as dream come true to compete in the USA cup. Once again dreaming not about war, but soccer and fun.
“Yesterday we were in the Duluth Lake [Lake Superior] and saw some waterfalls. It is fun here, it’s a really friendly place and I’ve really enjoyed my time here,” continued Ketsuk.
The 23, 16U boys players not only had fun touring the Northland, but also teaching and training some of its aspiring young stars.
“It brings joy to me to know that these u16 boys are willing to help teach young kids like us to be better soccer players. For what Ukraine is going through is really tragic, and a little goes a long way,” claimed Kaitlyn Patterson.
Source, the Minnesota non-profit sponsoring the tour, is looking to raise funds to cover the expenses and help raise humanitarian and medical aid to send back to Ukraine with them. With a goal of raising $8,000, you can get donation information by texting UkraineYouth to 91999, or by CLICKING HERE.