SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has paid for more than 200 customized soccer jerseys for the Utah Refugee Soccer League.
The league is made up of young men from 16 to 26-years-old who play on 12 teams, each representing the country they came from before settling in the United States.
League founder Newton Gborway said at today’s announcement in Salt Lake City that they couldn’t afford the $10,000 price tag to get the jerseys and hire two referees.
“Most of [the players], they’re not working, they’re going to school. So to have this jersey is huge because not only do we have the jersey, but they put their name on the jersey, their number on the jersey,” Gborway said.
26-year-old Maxwell Ayeliya plays for the Congolese refugee team. “This actually gives us more, like, love and passion. And many people can join us insofar as they know that, ‘This is the team I am supporting.'”
The Refugee Justice League also helped get the jerseys.
The Utah Refugee Soccer League also teaches its players how to get a job, apply for scholarships, and stay away from gangs. They are looking to start a girl’s division next year.
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