By Adam Gore/ICC Sports Information Department
FULTON – The demands of preparing for the upcoming soccer season mixed with an influx of student-athletes reporting for practice, there are very few hours left in the day for Itawamba Community College soccer coach Mike Sullivan, but he still finds time to lend a helping hand to those that need it the most.
Members of West Jackson Street Baptist Church in Tupelo recently returned home from a mission trip to Nicaragua. The missionaries visited San Francisco del Notre where they witnessed to the community while conducting a soccer tournament for the area youth.
When Sullivan heard of the Church’s plans he connected representatives of the trip and extended an open door to his equipment room… literally.
“Coach Sullivan overheard us talking about the trip one day on campus,” said Allyson Cummings, a counselor and advisory for ICC. “He called me later that day and asked if there was anything his program could do to help. When I told him about our plans he told me to meet him at the Davis Event Center and open the door to the equipment room and told me to get what I thought we needed.”
The program donated numerous soccer balls, past jerseys, cleats, camp t-shirts, and shorts for the members of the mission trip to give to the children.
“A lot of times we take for granted the things we are fortunate to have in life,” said Sullivan. “These donations may seem simple to some, but it very well could be life changing to people in other parts of the world.”
Sullivan, who has coached soccer for five seasons at ICC, hopes the donations will be a gateway to a brighter future for the children of San Francisco del Notre.
“Sports can open the door to some many positive aspects in life and with these donations we hope to touch the lives of some very special members of our extended ICC Family,” said Sullivan.
“Coach Sullivan gave us almost 50 soccer balls, jerseys, camp t-shirts, and so much more to really make this mission trip an extra special success,” said Cummings. “The children were so ecstatic to receive the donations and it really made them feel special to have the same equipment that college players use.”
Sullivan’s soccer programs are active in numerous community service projects and outreach programs. They joined forces with other ICC athletic programs to help raise over five thousand dollars for supplies and volunteered in disaster relief efforts for the Smithville and other local areas.