Soccer Builds Community, Overcomes Cultural Differences

Evan Witczak, Staff Writer, Journalism I

Soccer is a universal language that promotes life-long lessons transcending beyond language and race. 

Notre Dame Academy’s soccer team is a perfect example of how sports can build a community that surpasses cultural limitations.  

“This year was really special for me. I got to build a lot of relationships with many different people. Our team connected effortlessly, and I feel at the end of the season we were like a family,” said senior captain Erik Sladky. 

The Triton soccer team had celebrated the team’s diversity all throughout the season.

Team bonding is a major component of the team’s chemistry. There were several team dinners throughout the season to instill a good team dynamic. 

One of those team dinners was organized by the Hispanic players’ parents. The players were able to explore a different culture and bond over it as a team.  

Jill Sladky helped to put on the team dinner. 

“This team has bonded throughout the year on the field,” she said. “The team dinners allow them to bond on a personal level while learning about Hispanic food and culture.”

Soccer is much more than just a high school sport. It is a platform where individuals find a piece of their identity and make friendships that carry on past the game of soccer.

“Through soccer, I see a community built. No matter the background you are part of a family that is greater than just yourself. You have different cultures commingling with each other to achieve a common goal,” said junior Jeremy Aguilar. 

This past summer, a few players from the NDA boys soccer team traveled to Kingston Jamaica for a service trip and discovered that the beautiful game is global.

“I found that soccer is a universal language that can be enjoyed by all. In Jamaica, it helped unite our cultures and was something that we could bond over. It didn’t matter our backgrounds, race or social status. We just played and had fun,” senior Alex Broullire said.

Soccer pushes past the cultural barriers and encourages the unity of people. It embodies a plethora of life lessons that shape an individual.