Calgary foundation opens the game of soccer to less fortunate players

While soccer fans are glued to their TV screens for the World Cup, a Calgary woman is channeling her love of the sport to benefit less fortunate players.

Second Effort Foundation sending cleats, jerseys, shorts and other equipment to teams in Mexico and Guatemala

The first shipment of soccer equipment was sent to children in Mexico this past December. (Second Effort Foundation)

While soccer fans are glued to their TV screens for the World Cup, a Calgary woman is channeling her love of the sport to benefit less fortunate players.

Samantha Adams is gathering equipment so kids in other countries can play the beautiful game.

Having come up through the Calgary youth soccer system, Adams passed on scholarship offers to pursue the sport from a new perspective.

Along with coaching young girls on two Calgary teams, Adams launched the Second Effort Foundation, which collects cleats, shorts, socks, jerseys, shin guards, balls and other equipment that are sent to kids in Mexico and Guatemala.

"I've been doing this kind of on my own, just travelling around and finding children that would appreciate equipment piece by piece," she told CBC News. "And then I decided to make it an actual organization, an actual charity, so that more people can get involved."

And more people are getting involved.

Playing on a community field in Guatemala. (Second Effort Foundation)

Her newly-launched foundation has already gathered 126 pairs of cleats, along with enough other equipment to outfit a team in Mexico, with the first shipment sent down this past December.

A second shipment was then sent to children at a school in San Raymundo, Guatemala.

There's currently two locations where soccer equipment can be dropped off during the summer months, one at the Calgary Soccer Centre (7000 48 St. S.E.) and another at the North Glenmore Park Community Association (2231 Longridge Dr. S.W.).

Members of the El Tigres, a children's team in Mexico that received soccer equipment from the Second Effort Foundation. (Second Effort Foundation)

Adams says they are also hoping to expand the number of drop-off locations.

Though the kids she's helping in Mexico and Guatemala may be worlds apart from the ones she coaches in Calgary, Adams says they're united by the game they love.

"We love the sport," she said. "Regardless of language, skill, even income, we can all play it."

Adams says her dream is to reach as many kids as possible.

With files from Dave Will