Your commitment to our life-changing work has astounded us and we want to share with you more details about what’s to come next in this Q&A with Seren Fryatt.
At this point in the story most people are like, “Back up — you played professional soccer in Liberia?!” Yes, I did. One day, at the pick-up soccer game I mentioned above, a Liberian coach saw me playing and recruited me to join Liberia’s Women’s Professional Soccer League. Playing soccer at the highest level in Liberia is when I saw that it was far more than a game: it could be hope, it could be joy, and it could heal hearts.
This life-changing experience launched a vision that God put in my heart on how to leverage the power of a game that I had played my entire life but didn’t know could be an avenue for restoration. I took my life experiences of playing soccer and used them to found L.A.C.E.S. — Life And Change Experienced thru Sports, with a mission to leverage the power of sport to mentor at-risk youth.
What does global expansion look like for L.A.C.E.S.?
We have seen time and time again, it is the hands and feet of the people who invest in these children that matters the most, and the tool they have used to succeed in bringing about change is the L.A.C.E.S. framework, curriculum and expertise. Which means as L.A.C.E.S. identifies new areas of need around the world, we will look to local organizations who are the hands and feet within their community, serving youth with the most need. We will teach our time-tested methods to our new partners and guide them as they learn to use the power of sports to affect change in the youth of their community.
What was it like to kick off the Sierra Leone expansion project?
Amazing. I was there with the founding members of our Liberian team and we could not have been more excited and energized to launch the next phase of L.A.C.E.S. There was an air of excitement amongst the youth being served and the sidelines were packed with community members and local media outlets for our inaugural game. Sports as more than a game is something Sierra Leoneans had never seen before and everybody wanted to see it first hand. What I saw that day was hope, joy and the beginnings of a healing of hearts for both the youth and the community.