Rush Wisconsin West Soccer

News Detail

8

Aug, 2018

NIGERIA RUSH - PASSION & PURPOSE

For many, soccer is home. There is no doubt in our minds that the game changes us. Soccer teaches us lessons about ourselves, about those around us, and about our world.

But the game is changing countries, too. Nigeria Rush’s Founder Paul Kato shares this vision for his country. His heart for the game has brought him back home, from Michigan to his birthplace of Nigeria.

After his involvement with Michigan Rush, Kato brought his passion for the Rush Way back to Nigeria.

“Having been involved with soccer in the states through coaching and directing (Michigan Rush), I really liked the approach to the sport and the club's ideals. Thus started Nigeria Rush,” Kato said.

“For years we worked on a club model where we would gather players from the various cities and have training after school and on weekends. We started a club in Kaduna, Kano, and Jos...They were somewhat successful but because of the rampant corruption from government and others I figured this was not the right model. For instance we established a center where our players would be tutored, and taught computer skills...but the government took it away from us out of spite.”

Nigeria Rush continued to develop, but faced a consistent battle of two-steps forward and one-step backward, trying to find the right model to further the game in their country.

“We decided to establish Kato International Training Academy (KITA),” Kato said.


“So our strategy became 3 fold: First, OWN all factors that we need; we set about buying land, developing buildings, and an infrastructure that is OURS. Second, take a 3 prong approach to KITA - areas of focus would be education, agriculture, and of course soccer (our soccer part of the program is Nigeria Rush); lastly and this is going to be our focus for the next year; good solid training for our staff and thus to our students.”


The coaching staff has been identifying 13 year-olds to join KITA in its first year of operation in Kwoi, Nigeria, beginning this fall. After scouting over 1000 players, the staff at KITA brought 60 players to a full-week summer identification camp, and has now selected the final 30 players to begin boarding at the KITA Facility in September of 2018. For more information on KITA, click here.


While Kato continued the journey of building Nigeria Rush and preparing KITA for opening, a player asked for a chance.


“Along the way I was contacted by Clement's older brother (Sunday) who was adamant about getting his brother a chance to dream” Kato explained.


“Through his persistence we decided to take a look at the player even though our primary focus was on the younger player...he had to find his way to northern Nigeria (not an easy task because of distance, cost, and timing). We arranged to have him train and work with us! We were very impressed not only with his great skill as a soccer player but as an individual that exhibits all the factors Rush aspires to be.”


Clement Gareth is being given his chance to dream.


“My dream is to play soccer for international club and for my country,” Gareth exclaimed.


“Every time I’m playing soccer I forget everything else, you can see me happy and enjoying the game. I make impact in the field. I think this game gives me joy and happiness. I’m a focused young boy, and I always want to achieve only one thing on the field; I want to see my teammates happy with their game and I want to see my team winning by all costs so I always put all I got on the field to achieve my team dream.


I searched for a good organization that can promote my game and make my dream of playing soccer on the international level come through, my brother (Sunday Gareth) contacted Rush International to seek for their support to promote me to an international club. After so many emails and communications, Rush Nigeria was able to organize a tryout game for me in Kwoi, Kaduna, Nigeria.  


Rush Nigeria is amazing. They accommodate myself and my brother for a week and give us amazing 3 square meals a day with another facility that helps me get fit, all for free. My gratitude goes to all the members of the Rush International and to all the family of Rush Nigeria, I’m happy to be part of this great project,” Gareth concluded.


Kato, Gareth, and Nigeria Rush are set to open the KITA Facility in September, 2018.


Follow more of Rush Nigeria’s story here.

Contact

Rush Wisconsin West
PO Box 2714 
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54602

Email: rushwiwest@gmail.com

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