Steamboat Soccer Club creates ‘Sweep the Barn’ week to clean up the community
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs Soccer Club has four mantras its players are encouraged to live and play by, and one of those is “Sweep the Barn.”
The mantra reminds athletes to “leave nothing but footprints on the field, tidy up after every game and help coaches pick up equipment after each session.”
This year, the club is taking that goal to the next level, and last week, Steamboat was the barn as every team got out and cleaned up garbage around the community. The club chose to tackle this project the week before Earth Day, since the holiday was in the middle of spring break.
Players and coaches used practice time to go to different locations around Steamboat, including the fields at Emerald Park, the Yampa River Core Trail and the Spring Creek Trail. They wore gloves and toted trash bags, snagging any bottles, cans, wrappers or large objects they could find.
“It’s just a way to give back,” said Erin Early, a girls age group director at the club. “It’s awesome because the kids are really taking ownership of it, and they’re excited about it.”
Sweep the Barn week is an extension of an effort that Will Hall thought of last year with the help of co-captain Noah Sabat. When the teams couldn’t play, the club was in need of fundraisers, so 13-year-old Hall got to brainstorming.
“Everyone in town loves the town,” Hall said. “So if we can clean it up, it’ll make everyone happy and maybe people could donate to the club. That was the motivation.”
Hall and a few other club members individually cleaned up some sections of town they frequented. This year, that small effort grew and was organized club wide.
Some of the cleanup crews found small metal culverts, road signs, inner tubes, large pieces of wood and other odd objects.
“I guess I didn’t expect it to become so big in the club. I can see that the town is getting cleaner,” Hall said. “Even when I bike to soccer practice, I see there’s not as much trash and cans along the Core Trail.”
Early said the club is already looking forward to doing this for years to come. In the fall, after tubing season ends, they hope to conduct a river cleanup.
“It’s new, but it seems to be having some really good reception,” Early said. “I think parents and community members are psyched. Everyone’s like, ’this is awesome.’”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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