Sept. 18, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame men's soccer team will host the fifth annual Lose the Shoes 3v3 barefoot soccer tournament Sept. 24-27. The event is open to all Notre Dame/Saint Mary's/Holy Cross students, faculty and staff. Registration is $10 per participant.
Each Lose the Shoes participant will receive a Grassroot Soccer t-shirt and will be entered to win prizes during the preliminary rounds of the tournament, which will take place Sept. 24-25 on Notre Dame's North Quad. The semifinals are slated for Sept. 26 during halftime of the Notre Dame women's soccer match versus Maryland. The finals will be held at halftime of the Fighting Irish men's soccer game against Duke on Sept. 27.
Positive Tracks, a national non-profit based in New Hampshire that helps young people get active and give back using the power of athletics, will match the total amount dollar-for-dollar. Positive Tracks plugs into charitable athletic efforts, and benefits charities by matching the fundraising efforts of youth participants, ages 23 and under.
The money raised from the Lose the Shoes tournament will benefit Grassroot Soccer, an international organization that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities against the spread of HIV and AIDS, and will help fund the men's soccer team's trip to Zimbabwe next summer. The Fighting Irish squad will work directly with Grassroot Soccer during the journey to Africa.
"We plan on traveling to Zimbabwe and teaming up with the Grassroot Soccer team in Bulawayo where we will play games but will also work in the townships putting out the message to young Africans," Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. "It will be part soccer, part service. I coached in Zimbabwe back in 1983 and took my family with me. It was a life-changing experience and I hope it will have a similar effect on our current Notre Dame team."
The Notre Dame men's soccer program has a very close connection to Grassroot Soccer. Dr. Tommy Clark, the eldest son of the Irish head coach, is the founder and CEO of the organization. The Fighting Irish squad has held a preseason match to benefit Grassroot Soccer each of the last 10 seasons. This year's game against Ohio State raised nearly $2,000.
"Anyone who likes to play soccer should want to come out and play in Lose the Shoes," Bobby Clark said. "You can play at Alumni Stadium and you can also contribute to a very worthwhile cause and that's the whole idea of Lose the Shoes. First and foremost it should be fun and you're also helping someone else."
Go to grassrootsoccer.org for more information on Grassroot Soccer.
To learn more about Positive Tracks log on to positivetracks.org.