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Football of a Different Kind Visits Africa

Posted Jul 26, 2010

New York Jets wide receivers David Clowney and Santonio Holmes wrapped up a week-long mission to the African nation of Ghana on Saturday with a football camp for close to 100 local children.

The kids were excited to learn about the American game, with one child traveling close to three hours to attend. Clowney and Holmes taught the kids the basics of the sport and after a rough start were able to run a two-hand-touch game with the children. The day of activities concluded with Clowney and Holmes trying their hand at that other type of football — soccer.
 
The teammates arrived on Tuesday and hit the ground running with a visit to Accra, the country’s capital. After spending a few hours in their new surroundings, they were welcomed by a local contingent including a United States Embassy representative, the Minister of Sports, a representative from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, local business leaders and representatives from various Ghanaian media outlets.
 
On Wednesday, the Jets took off to the western part of the country and visited Kakum National Park, which features one of only five canopy walkways in the world, extending hundreds of feet above the rain forest. The two enjoyed their walk among rare and endangered species and even picked coconuts from the surrounding trees.

The visit was followed by a trip to Elmina Castle on the Cape Coast. Elmina is the site of where hundreds of slaves were shipped across the Atlantic to America. After the eye-opening visit, Clowney and Holmes lightened things up with a pickup soccer game against some of the locals.
 
The wide receivers visited the children’s ward of Korle Bu on Thursday and presented the hospital with a monetary donation. While there, they spent time with some of the hospital's youngest patients, including a 2-week-old girl who had been abandoned by her mother as well as a young boy suffering from cancer.

After their emotional visit, the teammates journeyed north to visit a rural children’s home in Aburi. The jubilant kids welcomed the players with songs and dances. Clowney and Holmes gave the kids clothes that the David Clowney Foundation collected in New Jersey as well as T-shirts from former teammate Abram Elam. Clowney’s foundation has also committed to providing the home with a swing set for the youngsters.
 
The two Jets traveled further north on Friday to Mole, the site of one of the country’s safaris. Holmes came face to face with an African elephant and they saw monkeys, baboons, bucks and crocodiles in the midst of the locals, who appeared unfazed by their neighbors.
 
Clowney and Holmes returned to the United States on Monday and after the trip of a lifetime are excited about the upcoming season.