I had the pleasure of preparing this interview with Mr. Aaron King of Free Kick Foundation
ML: Tell us about your organization.
FK: The Free Kick Foundation is a vehicle to inspire, educate and empower youth from economically depressed communities, through football. Through this, we will develop positive thinking and hopefully help to reduce social plagues, such as illiteracy, poverty and crime.
ML: What was your motivation in doing this?
FK: My motivation for this project is to help kids, who are in really difficult situations, and have limited or no options. Having grown up in one of these areas, all we had was sports, in particular football. Indirectly, football kept us out of trouble; between school and training, there wasn’t too much time to get into trouble.
ML: What are your expectations of the organization?
FK: Our one expectation for the foundation is to provide an alternate path for kids born into these tough circumstances. For example kids receive help with the costs associated with staying in school through our Free Kick High School Scholarship Program, after high school they have the opportunity to compete and apply for US university scholarships through our Free Kick College Player Showcase. Through working with us, kids can therefore chart a path out of their individual situations.
ML: Are you accepting volunteers for your organization, if so how do they go about getting the needed information.
FK: We do accept volunteers and donations also. You can register/donate online at our website, FreeKickFoundation.org. We are always looking for volunteers for different events.
ML: Is this strictly for St. Lucian kids or is it regional and international?
FK: The ultimate goal for the foundation is to have a regional presence. However, we will first use St. Lucia as the “test” country for all the different ideas/programs we have planned. Our first event was a hugely successful youth tournament in St. Lucia. We are now in negotiations to have a similar one in Trinidad & Tobago later this year.
ML: Kids are out of school in the US and soon will be out in the Caribbean, what are the organization's plans for the summer?
FK: This summer we will be having the Free Kick Pro Football Clinic, which is a week long camp hosted by a former professional football player, Dwayne De Rosario. De Rosario is a retired Canadian professional football player. He came to prominence in the 2000's playing in Major League Soccer (MLS) for the San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC, New York Red Bulls and DC United. A four-time MLS cup champion, he also won the 2011 MLS MVP award. He’s the top scorer in Toronto FC history and he’s sixth on the MLS all-time scoring charts.
The camp will be held August 8 – 12, 2016 in St. Lucia.
We also have the Free Kick High School Scholarship program being awarded this summer, which we are currently accepting applications for. There are also other events we have planned for the rest of the year. More information is available on our website, www.FreeKickFoundation.org. or ‘like’ us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/freekickfoundation, for more details.
So here you have it folks, anyone interested in volunteering or donating can reach out to the foundation.
We wish the Free Kick Foundation the best and kudos for putting such an endeavor together.