MY STORY behind International Football Exchange

The extreme financial imbalance throughout the world leads to millions of children being born into poverty. For so many of these children football is their only HOPE. International Football Exchange uses this as our core value in working towards our vision.

In life we do things and look for things that make us happy. For me, like millions of other people around the world consider football to be a source of happiness. It is my main passion in life, I consider it to be more than just a ‘game’. For some people football is life. I have played and been involved in football all my life and my experiences have been the catalyst for starting International Football Exchange.

MY STORY behind International Football Exchange goes back almost 10 years when I was 16 years old. I travelled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, as part of a yearly international football tour with the NSW Institute of Sport. It was my first time in South America and we spent three weeks playing football, watching football and exploring a city where football is everything. Growing up in Australia we often take for granted how good quality of life we have. We have access to the best facilities and clubs, coaching and education, uniforms and gear. We don’t choose this we are born into this. Not everyone is this lucky. It is not until you have experienced first hand what living conditions and life is like in a third world country, for it to be able to impact you. From this you can then see how football can bring so much joy and happiness to their lives, truly depicting why it is the world game.

My first experience of this came during my time in Buenos Aires, we had just finished a game against the Argentina U17’s national team. There were groups of local children there watching the game and asking us for autographs. As we were going back to get on our luxury coach they surrounded us. This was when I pulled out an old pair of football socks and gave it to one of the kids. The excitement and joy it brought to him was indescribable. I can only relate to it being like a typical Christmas as a child when you’re opening all the gifts. The only difference being it was for something so little!

10 years on and having spent a month in Brazil last year for the world cup having similar experiences, I was looking at all my bags of old soccer gear thinking what can I do with this? My first thought was, well I’ll donate it. My next thought was that if I have so much unused uniforms and gear imagine how much other unused gear there is out there. This was when I came up with the idea of starting International Football Exchange. I came up with a Vision.

My vision is to improve the lives of underprivileged children across the world and connect communities through football, breaking down financial barriers.

Get involved today and help International Football Exchange bring HOPE and HAPPINESS!

Nathan Ralph

Founder | International Football Exchange

By Nathan Ralph | June 21st, 2015 | Categories: Founder's Story | 0 Comments

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