Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rwandan football team seeks funding to participate in Continental Cup in Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio (May 20, 2011) – There is one arena in which a child of any background may experience life on a level playing field regardless of socioeconomic background, race, religion and gender – the sports arena. Sports have proven to be an instrumental tool in bringing communities together, empowering youth and teaching crucial social and life skills like teamwork and self-confidence. An example of this is the Continental Cup International Youth Sports Festival presented by Cleveland Clinic Sports Health which is becoming one of the largest, most respected international sports festivals in the nation offering athletes from across the globe an opportunity to compete against one another in an exciting, cross-cultural environment. This summer, an estimated 4,000 athletes from 25 different countries will participate in the sports festival scheduled from June 30 – July 3.

For some of these teams, traveling to Cleveland and competing in the Continental Cup tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that does not come around often. One of these international teams trying to raise funds to participate is a girl’s soccer team from Remerarukoma Secondary School located in the little town of Kamonyi, Rwanda.

The Remerarukoma Secondary School girl’s soccer team is made up of 21 girls aged 14-17 years old who live and study at the school. The players are chosen from talent scouts all around Rwanda and have been recognized as the best in the country despite the modest school conditions that lack a sports field.

Recently, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission has teamed up with SURF Survivors Fund who has been working to raise funds to bring the Rwandan girls to Cleveland so they can participate in this summer’s AC Milan Continental Cup soccer tournament. SURF exists to promote the needs of survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, many of whom are women and children including the majority that comprise the soccer team.

“Everyone at SURF is working hard and reaching out to different organizations for financial support so the girls canparticipate in the AC Milan Continental Cup tournament. The girls work in the community to end Gender Based Violenceand the reality is many of these girls are orphans from the genocide and have lost most or all of their families,” saidJessica Smolow, Fundraising Officer for SURF Survivors Fund.

Starting this team was an idea conceived by a group of girls at the school who wanted to boost the school’s chances to win a gender-based sensitization competition among others in Kamonyi in areas of music, drama, soccer and poetry. In 2010, the team came in first place and won the Rwanda National Federation of East African Secondary Schools Sports Association. They went on to represent Rwanda in Kenya in July 2010 where they placed second in the final tournament.

This would be the team’s first time traveling to the United States if they participate in the AC Milan Continental Cup.

The team learned of the Continental Cup early this year and attempted to get support from the government through the Ministries of Education and Sports and Culture but unfortunately yielded nothing. Good news finally arrived in May whenMusco Lighting, a U.S. based company that designs and manufactures lighting for stadiums and venues, decided to assist the Kamonyi team, offering to pay the registration fee so they can enter the AC Milan Continental Cup tournament.

Other organizations have come on board as well, including the U.S. Soccer Federation who agreed to purchase the team’s equipment and outfits. The Ministry of Sports is assisting with passports, visas and local logistics including bussing to the airports. The last hurdle to cross is paying for air transportation for all the teammates.

“The girls have worked so hard to become the number one team in Rwanda and participating in Continental Cup would mean the world to them. It has been so inspirational to see so many different people and organizations help make this dream happen. However, if we do not receive funding for the airline tickets they will not be able to go. We are really hoping that it all comes together in the end,” stated Smolow.

“An opportunity to visit the United States and compete in the AC Milan Continental Cup would be a dream come true for these girls. Furthermore, they may have an opportunity to play in front of scouts who can help them launch a professional soccer career and interact with their peers from all over the world, sharing cultures and making incredible memories. For these girls, it would be an unbelievable, life-changing experience and that is what the Continental Cup is all about,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

This summer the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will host the sixth annual Continental Cup International Youth Sports Festival presented by Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. It will take place June 30-July 3 and is now comprised of four sports including the AC Milan Continental Cup (soccer), Cleveland Indians Charities Continental Cup (baseball), Cleveland Cavaliers Continental Cup (basketball) and the newly added Continental Cup Lacrosse tournaments. An estimated 4,000 athletes from 25 different countries are expected to participate this summer while pumping over $4 million into the region due to tourism dollars.

To learn more about the Continental Cup International Youth Sports Festival or the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, please visit www.continental-cup.com or www.clevelandsports.org.

To assist the Remerarukoma Secondary School girl’s soccer team with fundraising efforts, please contact Jessica Smolow at SURF Survivors Fund at jessi.smolow@gmail.com or by calling 617-599-5972.

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