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Beyond Bounds: Dribbling 400 Miles Across MN For Social Change

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Beyond Bounds
Alex Daley (back left) and Matt Scott (back right) believe in soccer's ability to cross cultures, and proved it, building a soccer pitch while living in Nepal this year. (credit: Dribble Daily)

Alex Daley (back left) and Matt Scott (back right) believe in soccer’s ability to cross cultures, and proved it, building a soccer pitch while living in Nepal this year.
(credit: Dribble Daily)

I’ll be honest.

Yes, it’s my job to research and report on amazing stories such as the duo who’ll traverse Minnesota’s 400 miles by dribbling from International Falls to the Iowa border, as part of a fundraiser to construct an inner city soccer pitch, complete with urban gardens to promote a community’s health, and even pride.

But media savants Alex Daley, 23, and Matt Scott, 24, have already done all that on their own, perfectly sharing ambitions of their 501(c)(3) nonprofit Dribble Daily.

Take a moment and check out their three-minute video, outlining the game plan, goals and even implementation.

Want to know more? Visit their website, their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter to donate or join in.

Here’s what floors me.

These are two 2012 University of St. Thomas graduates who, unlike many of their peers, actually paid attention to the school mission statement “to advance the common good.”

They’re aiming to do just that before they even turn 25.

And you just can’t help but be impressed that these two followed their (lofty and still unmapped) dreams, instead of succumbing to their student loans and settling into jobs that didn’t mesh with their passions.

For the record, they’re taking on crazy side jobs to keep financially afloat — Daley worked golf tournaments back in his native state of Texas, and Scott helps with his uncle’s business making boat parts.

“We want to thank our family and friends for support,” Scott said. “We have families that are nice enough to let us live at home to save money. This project is on a shoestring budget.”

If fundraising goes according to plan, the inner city field would look a bit like this, complete with urban gardens. (credit: Dribble Daily)

If fundraising goes according to plan, the inner city field would look a bit like this, complete with urban gardens. (credit: Dribble Daily)

The two spent seven months after graduation crisscrossing the globe, spending the majority of their time in Bangladesh and Nepal to see first-hand how something as simple as a soccer ball can unite two extremes.

“It can break down barriers,” Daley said. “Being a white-skinned, Christian in an indigenous Muslim country, we still connected because of soccer. One day, we were in a parking lot (in Bangladesh) and 10 minutes later 50 to 100 people showed up.”

The two left their mark in Nepal, and without any machinery, constructed a soccer pitch for the Great Compassion Boarding School.

(credit: Dribble Daily)

(credit: Dribble Daily)

Now, building a rooftop soccer field – or a ground-level one that replaces a vacant lot – somewhere within the Twin Cities is objective No. 1.

It won’t be cheap, and can range from $30,000 to nearly $300,000, Daley said, just depends on things like the location and the quality of turf.

“Soccer can break down all languages and cultures here in the diverse communities of the Twin Cities,” Scott said. “And the urban gardens address the issue of food security and food deserts in dense urban areas. We want to fight the high obesity and diabetes rates, and give people a space to grow.”

Dribble Daily’s drawing serious sponsorship interest from well-known Minnesota firms, and national ones, too. It’s just a matter of time before a company steps up.

Alex Daley (left) and Matt Scott (right). (credit: CBS)

Alex Daley (left) and Matt Scott (right). (credit: CBS)

Oh, and as for the trek itself? It starts Sunday in International Falls, heads to Grand Rapids, meanders around Lake Mille Lacs, pit stops in Blaine, then visits the June 8 Minnesota United FC game at the Metrodome before landing at the Iowa border to bookend the three-week journey.

They’ll average about 20 miles a day, and have a third friend – Tommy Hanlon – help with relations, and driving the car. Camping out at night is always an option, but they hope to connect with people along the way as to put a roof over their head during the night.

And yes, Forrest Gump moments are the prize.

“We encourage people to come out and run with us,” Scott said. “We want it to be just like in Bangladesh or Nepal, when we could go on runs through the slums and we’d have 30 kids following us.”

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