We at Operation Kids are very proud to be named an official charity of choice for Real Salt Lake for the 2008 season. Major league soccer in the U.S. has grown so much in recent years, and we are grateful not only for the support and recognition, but also for an association with such “pure” athletes.
This new relationship was announced at a press event this week, and we were fortunate to have one of our National Advisory Board members speak. Dale Murphy, who established himself over the period of a great Major League Baseball career as one of the true “good guys” in professional sports, took the podium and made what I felt were comments worth repeating.
Dale has watched from a unique perspective, the trends in professional sports involving the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. As a former professional athlete, father and youth coach, he unapologetically calls it what it is…cheating. Dale leads a national initiative to educate kids and encourage them to find what they are good at, rather than cheating to try and compete in a sport.
As Dale addressed the audience, I realized that the more you learn about professional soccer, the more you admire the players. While there is that elite group with the large contracts, for the most part the sport is comprised of very dedicated and very skilled athletes who are playing for pure love of the game.
They work hard and put it all out on the field. Their success is NOT something they can get in a pill or injection. The only way to succeed in soccer is to train your body to the finest degree possible, and then give 100% every minute on the field. It is a beautiful thing to watch.
It is also interesting to learn more about where these fine athletes come from and the price they have paid to play the game. The current Real roster includes players from all over the world, and they collectively possess a wonderful appreciation for where they are and what they are doing.
We have great plans for the season to deliver aid to kids in the U.S. and in many of the countries represented on the roster. We are also want to congratulate those fine athletes, in Salt Lake and around the world, who compete fairly and with complete dedication. What a great example you are.
For news coverage of the event click here