The Kalamazoo College women's volleyball and men's soccer teams are joining once again for an international trip. After traveling together to Trinidad and Tobago in 2015, the two teams will embark on a journey to South Africa in 2018.
The 12-day trip begins the Monday after Thanksgiving which is at the beginning of Kalamazoo's break between fall and winter terms.
"These international trips are an opportunity to use our love of the game to connect with people around the world," said Jeanne Hess, head volleyball coach. "Through sport, we are able to serve and create learning experiences not only in Kalamazoo but around the world."
The teams will learn, play and serve on their trip:
-About each other as coaches and teammates, about South Africa and its history, about apartheid, about the impact of sport on global connection.
-Compete with teams from South Africa during three matches for each team.
-Visit schools and other children's organizations to spread the love of our sport and the joy in the games; undertake service projects focused on social justice issues and environmental awareness.
The majority of the trip will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, but the teams will also travel around the country to see natural formations, the southern coast along the Indian Ocean, walk with elephants, and do a safari. They'll also visit Robben Island, the site of Nelson Mandela's imprisonment, during the time of what would have been his 100th birthday.
"South Africa is probably one of the most dynamic and beautiful countries in the world and the birthplace of one of humanity's greatest leaders," said Lumumba Shabazz, head men's soccer coach. "This trip presents a tremendous opportunity for learning and growth for all of us."
The teams continue to raise support for this trip. Donations are tax-deductible and support the entire team. On the giving page, please designate to "Other" and enter "South Africa – Volleyball or Men's Soccer" to indicate your choice.
"This trip is an extension of the K-Plan and an immersion into the world of global citizenry," said Shabazz. "The main idea being that it opens new learning horizons for our student-athletes, and helps them engage the world on their own terms."