LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's men's soccer team is taking care of last minute details before shipping off to South Africa to visit Christopher T. Campbell Memorial Field. The team will depart campus on Wednesday, May 18th for a 12-day trip that will include a visit to Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island, downtown Cape Town and a night with a host family in the shanties of Khayelitsha.
The Diplomats will also find time to play soccer, including a unique 5-on-5 Crime Prevention Tournament that will place one F&M soccer player on each roster. Fans and supporters of F&M Soccer Africa can follow the trip through the team's blog. You can view that blog by clicking here.
Recent graduate, Zach Zamek '11, will join the Diplomats on the trip, but will do so with a one-way ticket. Zamek will stay in South Africa, working as an intern at the Campbell Center. He replaces Ryan McGonigle '08 and Amy Cawley '09, who have staffed the field since it opened in 2008. McGonigle and Cawley were close friends with Campbell.
The visit will mark the first time the Diplomats will see the completed Christopher T. Campbell Memorial Field in Khayelitsha, which is a replica of F&M's Tylus Field. F&M's last visit was three years ago, along with members of the CTC Ten Foundation, to break the ground for the field.
"We have done an amazing job of leveraging the popularity of soccer into a catalyst for positive change in the community," said F&M's Head Coach, Dan Wagner. "Through education programs, we have empowered the residents of Khayelitsha to make their own difference."
The CTC Ten Foundation was founded in the fall of 2007 to honor the memory of Chris Campbell, an All-Centennial soccer player at F&M who passed away just prior to the start of the 2007 season. The field is a tribute to his energetic spirit. Campbell wore the number 10, which was stitched into Tylus Field in Lancaster. His family and friends wanted to make a lasting, positive impact on children in this world in his honor. This gave birth to the idea of building a field that would serve as an education and community hub in one of South Africa's most impoverished townships.
The team's visit is the first stage of a multi-faceted strategy to engage the community in South Africa. Students working with F&M's South Africa Social Entrepreneurship summer course will follow on in the wake of the men's soccer team.
Mona Lotfipour '12 will lead a group of students to Campbell Field as part of her One Goal Project. (learn more by clicking here). Mona is working with Meaghan Mancini '10, combining Mona's expertise in public health with Meaghan's expertise in coaching soccer to create a "soccer-plus" public health program.
Through the generosity of a vast network of supporters, the foundation created and constructed the Christopher T. Campbell Memorial Facility in Khayelitsha, South Africa. Since then, the field has been a focal point of the community, with ongoing educational programs and events, all with the singular goal of striving to improve daily life in Khayelitsha.