STAND World Cup aids Darfur

Lauren McCarthy

The Villanova chapter of Students Taking Action Now Darfur is teaming up with the New Sudan Sports Association to bring the STAND World Cup to Villanova this Saturday.

Millions of Sudanese people facing the loss of their homes, families and basic rights. While many deem the situation terrible but too far away to take action against, one student association is doing its part to raise awareness of the unwavering genocide and help those in need.

STAND, a peace and justice organization on campus for a few years, tries to raise awareness on campus. President Alex Frantz and activities chair Sara Jane Denoma have both been involved with the organization since their freshman year, when they were both drawn to the club at the activities fair. Now seniors, Frantz and Denoma hope that the upcoming World Cup will help get new students involved in the organization.

Frantz’s recent trip to the National STAND Conference in Washington, D.C., has helped fuel her mission to bring STAND into the spotlight on campus. 

 “I saw how our chapter was part of a larger and well-structured movement that is very passionate and very wise about how they do everything,” Frantz said. 

The STAND World Cup, which will be played on Austin Field this Saturday, will be modeled after the real World Cup, as a five vs. five tournament with each team of students representing a different country. Each team pays a $40 entrance fee, which goes to NSSA. 

Registration has been open for weeks, with students claiming their favorite countries to represent. 

However, teams can still sign up until tomorrow at noon. As social chair, Denoma said she was impressed with the amount of student interest in the event thus far.

“People seem excited about it,” she said. “It’s going to be a really fun event. We’re going to have food and music. The World Cup is such a fun event –– people really got into it this summer.” 

The day will start off with a double elimination round, with games getting more and more intense as the day progresses. 

The winning team will be rewarded with a replica World Cup trophy and, of course, ultimate bragging rights. However, students not quite up for this caliber of athleticism are still encouraged to stop by, watch a match or two and, hopefully, learn a little more about STAND.

“The event is not just about your money –– we’re also building community involvement,” Frantz said.

As the World Cup acted as a force to unite the nation, STAND hopes to do the same –– not just within the ‘Nova Nation, but also between Villanova and Sudan. 

 “New Sudan creates soccer teams for youth as a way to heal in the civil war,” Frantz said. “Hopefully everyone who comes will become more aware of the conflicts going on in Sudan. ” 

“The World Cup itself has such a great message,” Denoma said. “In the end, soccer is the same sport, and we are playing it halfway around the world.”