Duhaney Park's schools, football club score again
Love affair with University of Nebraska, 'Football for the World' nets more gear
Livingston Scott, Gleaner Writer
For the second successive year, the University of Nebraska, Omaha, led by Monica Bosiljevac and her 'Football for the World' team, has donated much-needed gear and equipment to the Duhaney Park Football Club and schools within the community.
The project came about as a result of former Duhaney Park and Wolmer's High player, Vance Rookwood, who is currently on a scholarship at Nebraska University and became friends with Bosiljevac, a member of Nebraska's female football team and the 'Football for the World' organisation.
The outfit travels the world and donates football gear and equipment to less-fortunate children and organisations.
On their last visit, the team presented gear and equipment to all three schools in the Duhaney Park community - George Headley Primary, Duhaney Park Primary and Edith Dalton James High, as well as the Duhaney Park Football Club.
This time, they made presentations to the same groups as well as the Lawrence Tavern Primary, the former school of one-time Jamaica College triple crown winner, University of the West Indies student and Duhaney Park resident, Shamal Thomas, who is also a very good friend of Rookwoood.
While the group was at the Edith Dalton making their final presentation to the school's female team, Bosiljevac noted that they don't usually make back-to-back trips to any country, but says they have developed a special bond with the Duhaney Park and they are hoping to make their visit an annual event.
"We formed a special relationship last year and when I left, I said this wasn't going to be my last time. They made us feel so welcome, especially at Edith Dalton, and through our connections with Duhaney Park Football Club, they said Edith Dalton would love to have us again and we are always happy to help, and this won't be our last time here, either," she promised.
Bosiljevac noted that they gave equipment to the school's female team this year because of the number of requests they got last term.
"I was so happy when I heard Edith Dalton had a girls team, now we are hoping that Duhaney Park club forms a girls team, too," she said.
Meanwhile, Rookwood, who travels with the seven-member contingent that also includes Ali Engler, Margaret Powers, Anna Sibson, Joe Marinkovich and Sam Noodle, said he loves and respects his alma mater (Wolmer's), but believes Edith Dalton James and the schools in Duhaney Park have a greater need for the equipment.
"When I compared both schools, I figured Edith Dalton James probably needs the equipment more. I was born and raised in Duhaney Park and I know how hard it is here and I want to try my best to change that, and this is my way of doing it," he said.
Duhaney Park FC president, Darrington Ferguson, said last year's donation played a great role in helping the club win the KSAFA Under-15 competition, and hopes the venture produce a similar impact this year.
"It is a good gesture and we didn't give anyone anything and we received. So we have to give thanks. It bore fruit for us last year and we are hoping to continue along the same route," he said.