By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — They kicked for a good cause.
Pinkerton Academy soccer players took to the field last week to do some kicking as a fundraiser to support the high school’s developmentally delayed students and give them opportunities to participate in Special Olympics events.
All facets of the program — varsity, junior varsity and freshmen — took to the field to attempt penalty kicks and then collect donations for each successful kick out of a total of 20.
It started several years ago, according to coach Kerry Boles. He said it was a way for the teams to enjoy their sport while helping others.
This year the money will be donated to Pinkerton’s ACT program to give students who have disabilities a chance to enjoy sports as part of the Special Olympics program.
Other clubs and programs also benefit from the kicking fundraiser.
“When we feel there is a need, we do it,” Boles said.
Players lined up in front of several nets during the event to try to get balls past the goalkeeper.
Sometimes the goalie was a bit more aware of the fundraising aspects of the event. Other times, it was block at all costs.
“Sometimes the goalies are a little competitive,” said senior Tom Martin, “and don’t want to let it in.”
But many of the balls sailed by and entered the net, all in a good afternoon’s work to help those in need.
Senior Tim Wood said having the soccer teams take on community service projects within the school gives an added boost to the program.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” Wood said. “It helps in the community and here at school. It’s a lot more than just a game for us.”
Boles said with all donations and pledges, the kicking event could raise several thousand dollars.
About 60 players will eventually take on the kicking challenge, with more raising anywhere from $25 up to $50 individually, or even more.
Money raised will be presented at Pinkerton’s fall awards night.