Article reposted from Monett Times
Author: Jared Lankford
An 8-day trip to Belize for Monett’s Amanda Harbaugh was for more than just pleasure.
Harbaugh, a CoxHealth athletic trainer in Monett, volunteered her time and expertise to help the Christian Sports Medicine Alliance (CSMA) provide medical support for a 150 international youth soccer players at the Coricader Games.
“I first found out about the Coricader Games through a Facebook group called Beyond the ATR (Athletic Training Room),” Harbaugh said. “It is a place for athletic trainers to gather and talk about things that aren’t necessarily related to our profession. This opportunity to help provide trainer support for the athletes was presented, and I felt like it was a way for me to reach out and give back.”
While working the games, Harbaugh, with four other trainers from the United States, noticed a huge need for safety gear that is standard equipment in the States.
“We were primarily with the 12-and-under national soccer players and we noticed that the Belize team was sharing shin pads and goalie gloves,” Harbaugh said. “The entire country has a population of just 330,000. There is just one sports store to serve the entire country and it isn’t that well stocked.”
Harbaugh said the girls volleyball team was practicing on concrete courts with no shin guards as well.
“Belize isn’t a third-world country,” Harbaugh said. “Most families are able to provide the basics of food, shelter and clothing, but there isn’t anything left over to purchase basic sports protective gear.”
This week Harbaugh is collecting small gear such as youth shin guards, goalie gloves, volleyball pads, deflated soccer balls, volleyballs and basketballs, collapsible cones and ladders.
“I will be taking donations through Thursday,” Harbaugh said. “I leave Friday to go to Iowa, where I will deliver the items to a family who will take them to Belize.”
For more information or to make a donation, people may contact Harbaugh at 417-872-8053.