Macalester has long said that civic engagement and internationalism are among its core values. The college’s students embrace those values too, and are determined to live them.
Calderon envisioned it as a program that would reach out to young people and teach them about the wider world they are a part of through the global sport of soccer.
To that end, the Live It Fund was established in 2010 by the Institute of Global Citizenship’s Student Council. The council asked students to define global citizenship and then propose a project that would enable them to live it out. The council then picked six projects, which it funded at amounts ranging from $500 to $10,000. Among the projects chosen last year was Macalester World Cup Soccer Camp, the brainstorm of Danny Calderon ’11, a Hispanic and international studies major from St. Paul.
At his camp, roughly 100 middle school kids watched the World Cup games, learned about the culture and customs of the countries those teams represented, and practiced soccer skills taught to them by collegiate soccer players. Calderon envisioned it as a program that would reach out to young people and teach them about the wider world they are a part of through the global sport of soccer. In keeping with the international mindset, the camp's clocks were set to South Africa's time zone.
It’s hard for a lot of kids to watch soccer on an international level because it doesn't get covered much in the United States,” camp director Danny Calderon said last summer. “And we're trying to spark interest and really get kids involved.”
The Macalester senior spent a large part of his childhood in Spain, where his father worked for a Minnesota based insurance company. Once he returned to the U.S. Calderon played for the St. Paul Blackhawks soccer club and then as a midfielder for Macalester’s men’s team. “In Spain it's the number one sport, and it's what everybody watches. The passion that people have for the sport is on a different level.”
The boys and girls at the camp wore jerseys representing that day's match-ups in the World Cup and learned about those countries and the international stars they've produced. During matches they played as those nations."Most people in the world play it. And there's less physical contact than in American football and rugby," camp student Zak Hussein remarked. "It's better and more fun, because you can't use your hands and it's a challenge."
The students spent most of their time on the field learning basic passing and dribbling skills, but they also got to watch World Cup action on live web feeds. One morning the soccer campers watched as the U.S. survived the threat of elimination by defeating Algeria 1-0 with a goal just two minutes before time expired."When Landon Donovan made that goal for the U.S. everybody was screaming and jumping on each other!" Hussein said.