HELP International hosted a soccer tournament April 9, 2016, to help relieve poverty in Thailand. They invited soccer players in Utah Valley to participate in the event.
The tournament’s theme was the World Cup. Each of the 32 participating teams represented a nation. The teams were placed randomly into slots in the eight-bracket competition. Seven-member teams played against each other with eight substitutes per team.
Russell Doria, the organizer of the tournament and also a participant of the tournament, said that two weeks after they announced the first tournament two years ago, all of the slots for teams got filled up. “This tournament is full of competitiveness and passion, it’s got to be because of the mix of soccer and being representing a team,” Doria said.
All proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the HELP International Thailand program projects, which help rural villages and mountain tribes in Fang, Thailand.
“In Thailand we have been able to secure access to water to rural villages, teach English classes and English teaching training, host soccer tournaments to help troubled youth, and other projects,” said Jen Itri, a country coordinator at HELP International.
The tournament has raised more than $3,000 each year for public health programs in Thailand through HELP International. Doria said that the tournament is very fun, but it is also very humbling to see where the donations go and how it impacts the life of so many people.
According to the HELP International Facebook page, the event raised thousands of dollars for projects in Thailand. Team Chile won the tournament.