On June 2nd, a sunny Chicago Saturday, seventy-five youth from all corners of Chicago descended upon Humboldt Park’s Allstate Field for an afternoon full of soccer, healthy food, and making new friends. These youth represented a rich array of faith traditions, coming from Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and non-religious families. This was the third Interfaith Cup which promotes interfaith and intercultural harmony in Chicago.
The kids relished the exposure to different cultures. The small-sided (5 versus 5) soccer games featured mixed-teams, which encouraged the youth to develop their teamwork and communication skills with their new teammates. While some were a bit timid at first, by the game’s end, all were high-fiving like old friends.
Following the games, there was a healthy multicultural picnic featuring Middle Eastern, Mexican, and Soul food. The vegetarian barbecue from Soul Vegetarian was the biggest hit, while the Middle Eastern grape leaves drew mixed (and some funny) reactions. The important thing, though, was that practically everyone sampled a little bit of everything!
This collaborative event would not have been possible without the help and support of many individuals and organizations. Urban Initiatives wishes to thank:
- One Chicago, One Nation for providing the funding for the Interfaith Cups
- A team of amazing volunteers from the Urban Initiatives Junior Board. These folks served as referees, coaches and cheerleaders and the kids loved getting to know them!
- The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation and Allstate for building the beautiful artificial turf field that our kids got to play on
- Humboldt Park for letting Urban Initiatives host the Cup on their beautiful grounds
- And last, but not least, the many parents who filled the stands and cheered on the kids
See UI’s Facebook page for more photos from the Interfaith Cup!