Urban Initiatives Associate Board Executive Committee member Ashley Dobbins shares her experience at this years Multicultural Cup with Morton, Lawndale, and Goethe!
Sports and play are a common vehicle that is known and enjoyed throughout the world. It’s a thread of commonality that ties together cities, countries and cultures around the world. It’s the same commonality that is shared between Urban Initiatives students, as they come together every week to play soccer and meet other kids from different neighborhoods, schools and most importantly cultures.
Every year the Multicultural Cup brings together students from across the city to, of course, play soccer, but also to partake in new activities that expand their cultural horizons.
The day began with Morton, Lawndale, and Goethe warmups that are the favorites among both the kids and adult volunteers alike. The best of the morning was Banana Tag – a game of freeze tag with a healthy food twist. From there, we played a few soccer games, but not before coming up team names that the students from different schools could rally around with their new teammates.
After soggy soccer and more high fives than hands on the team, we moved indoors for the main event. We moved through four stations that taught the students something about a different culture and encouraged them to share and grow together. They worked up a sweat dancing away during Zumba. They learned Spanish while finding their Zen in Yoga with a few Downward Facing Perros and Gato-Vacas. They created cootie-catchers, snakes, and cranes at the Origami station that encouraged positive reinforcement and finally, created friendship bracelets with the colored thread of their choosing.
While it was a fun day of laughing and playing with some great kids, the impact on the students was most evident at the end of the day. When asked to share something new they learned during the day, over a hundred hands eagerly flew into the air to answer. As an Associate Board volunteer, I take great pride in what Urban Initiatives provides for the students in Chicago to not only keep them active, but also inspire them to grow as people. This event is so special to the students because it not only allows them to bond over what makes them the same, but they also learn to celebrate what makes them different. Hope to see you at the 7th Annual Multicultural Cup next Fall!
- Coach Ashley