Old Shoes, New lives

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We’ve had yet another exciting week with the Chicas Dinamicas in Cusco! After a successful fundraiser with Upper 90 soccer store in NYC, our apartment is overflowing with nearly 100 pairs of lightly used shoes to be distributed to our girls. A huge thanks to Upper 90 and all of my friends and family who helped bring bag upon bag of used shoes thousands of miles to Peru. These old shoes can mean new lives for so many of our girls. The chicas send lots of abrazos y besos (hugs and kisses)!

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The new Zapatillas Program sheet

Rather than just simply giving the girls the shoes, we have created yet another Programa de Zapatillas.  The girls will have to complete a program sheet with questions about the 5 values of being a Chica Dinamica (Leadership, Communication, Confidence, Teamwork and Healthy Living) before they can receive their new shoes. Every day at the beginning of class they will color one drawing on their sheet and answer a corresponding question. At the end of each class we will redistribute their sheets and discuss whether each of them has fulfilled the response they wrote, after which we will sign each of their papers. Once the sheets are full (8 classes), each of the girls will be required to pass a fitness test consisting of 15 push-ups, 20 sit-ups and a sprint in under 12 seconds while demonstrating the proper form that we have been practicing.

This past Tuesday we gave the sheets to our girls at Santoni and the response was heartwarming. After the initial cheering died down and the girls began to write their responses, Carly and I felt like proud parents. Below are just a few examples of the questions the girls chose to answer and their responses.

  1. How can I be a leader in class today?

“Listen to the profes, help the class leaders and follow the guidelines and commands of the profes and the leaders”

  1. What is an example of how you will demonstrate respect today in class?

“Respect the profes in class today by listening to them.”

“Share my things.”

  1. What is one way that I can help another person in class today?

“Explain how to play games to the others girls.”

  1. How can I communicate better today in class?

“Listen and not interrupt while the profes are talking.”

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Santoni girls working on their questions for the day

We hope that through having the girls focus and think about our 5 values before, during and after class, they will better be able to recognize their importance both on and off the court. We also hope that through challenging them to complete physical tests, they will learn to push themselves beyond what they believe possible. They will set goals and work towards them together throughout the next 8 classes and then go home running faster, jumping farther and being the best Chica Dinamica they can be in their new shoes!