Brazil 2009 Foreign Tour
The Washington women's soccer team embarked on a truly life-changing experience in the summer of 2009, packing their bags for a two-week adventure in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Husky players and coaches to see the sport of soccer, or futbol, where it is a way of life and a culture for the people of Brazil.
The Huskies raised over $70,000 for the trip through donations, clinics, winter academy and spring break camps and a spring game fundraiser against the Sounders Women's Select team. In addition, players and coaches chipped in to cover some costs, and with a huge helping hand from XL Travel and Tours, the entire team and several staff members to experience the beauty of South America's soccer mecca. The team learned valuable lessons about soccer's place in their life and saw what the sport means to people struggling with poverty.
Head coach Lesle Gallimore summed up the impact of the trip best.
"They know that's an experience that will catapult them into being better players mainly from the standpoint that they got to see what soccer is like in a culture where soccer is everything. They were able to see how much joy there is for the game," Gallimore said. "You can talk about competition and expectations and all those kind of pressured-filled, negative, intense feelings that can be around it at times, but in Brazil everything having to do with soccer is happy and joyful."
"I think our kids picked up on that and it's that light bulb you want to have go on within your student-athletes that says, `yeah it's hard work. But if you work hard and you dedicate yourself to something it can still be really fun and rewarding.' It's not something that has to be job-like and pressure filled. That light bulb went on for a lot of our players."
Share in the memories of the trip below by checking out Gallimore's blogs from Rio along with a photo gallery chronicling the entire trip from the eyes of Husky players and coaches. Additionally, a series of mini-documentaries about the trip created by the players will be available soon.
POSTCARDS FROM RIO: HEAD COACH LESLE GALLIMORE BLOG ENTRIES
• Postcards From Rio: Part 1
TRIP PHOTO GALLERY
• BRAZIL 2009 PHOTO GALLERY