Grassroot Soccer is a wonderful organization where you can still feel the start-up, super small and personal vibe, even though in the past two years it has absolutely exploded in scope and effectiveness. A great example of this is that over the past week we have had the CEO, Tommy Clark, as a guest in our cramped, grimy intern house. Rather than putting himself up in a hotel, he would rather spend time eating dinner at our house, shooting the shit late at night with the boys and getting up early to head to the gym with the girls. Yesterday, we had an unbelievably pleasant early morning run where we discussed my future plans and aspirations, thought about my knee injury (he is a licensed doctor), and talked about the best ways to pursue graduate school. The fact that the CEO knows all the interns by name and would prefer our company and smelly house to a swanky hotel is just a snapshot of the “GRS culture” as we would officially name it. This company does a wonderful job at equalizing the field and not only valuing everyone’s input but depending on, and feeding off of every individual’s man power and passion.
On a different note, Last weekend GRS had a fundraising event which brought together some of the more affluent crowd of Cape Town and presented to them the mission and vision of GRS. This was held at a house on Llandundo beach, arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in CT at the most incredible house I have ever seen. It was a dream house that belonged not only in Nantucket, but also the Architectural Digest. As interns we went and helped serve food, act as bartenders and generally answer questions about GRS. I, of course, took full advantage and enjoyed the wonderful wine and hors d'oeuvres, making it my mission to have at least one of every gourmet treat. Yet, this party perpetuated the dichotomy present in my conscience her in Cape Town. As I was enjoying my Italian meats and cheeses, Siya, one of our Skillz graduates from Khayelitsha walks out with a full plate and a huge smile; but I realize that that may well be the best meal he has or may ever have. Sobering for me as I stuffed my face with pate, and interesting that we view it as generally necessary to throw swanky parties to raise funds for such a, if you will forgive me, “grassroot” cause.
Above, are shots of the houses over Llandundo, and the interns on Llandundo beach... Elton John and Victoria and David Beckam are also some of the residents in this neighborhood. Amazingly the beach is free and us interns are regulars. We have seen wales and seals in our past two visits.