South African Summer Citrus Honors Eight U.S. Youth as 2012 Soccer Stars
Iowa City girl selected for courage, determination and leadership.
Philadelphia, Pa. – August 14, 2012 – Grace Brown, Iowa City, IA, is one of eight youth across the country selected to receive the 2012 South African Summer Citrus Soccer Star award (www.summercitrus.com). One boy and one girl were selected from each of the four US Youth Soccer regions for the award based on commitment, leadership and a spirit of service, both on and off the soccer field.
The award was established by the South Africa Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum (WCCPF), a consortium of about 350 South African Citrus growers who export citrus to the U.S.
“When we decided to bring our citrus products to the United States, it took courage, imagination, commitment and unbeatable determination and resulted in success,” said Suhanra Conradie, CEO of the WCCPF. “With our ongoing partnership with US Youth Soccer, we have seen these same characteristics exhibited by many of the players involved in this sport.”
Soccer and oranges go hand-in-hand, with citrus products being the snack of choice at soccer games across the country. WCCPF has been a long-time supporter and partner with US Youth soccer, supplying fruit for regional and national tournaments each summer.
Soccer Star award winners were selected from nominations submitted in the form of essays. Entrants were asked to share personal experiences demonstrating how they have displayed courage, imagination, commitment, unbeatable determination and success. Entries were received from all regions of the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii.
“We are honored to recognize these eight youth who represent the best of American spirit, courage and leadership,” said Suhanra Conradie, CEO of WCCPF. “The South Africa citrus growers have shown these qualities repeatedly by not only exceeding but also maintaining the rigorous U.S. standards for quality and safety. In like fashion, these eight youth have maintained rigorous schedules and demonstrated incredible determination and commitment to achieve their goals and a great deal of success as athletes and students.”
Ms. Brown, 13, is the daughter of Kristen and Greg Brown. She plays for the Iowa City Alliance Soccer Club Speed and will enter eighth grade next year at Southeast Junior High School. She displayed courage and compassion recently when she came to the aid of fellow classmate with a learning disability. When other classmates were tricking the girl into giving away her lunch, Ms. Brown stepped in to stop the behavior.
She said commitment and determination are extremely important as a soccer player. Recently, she displayed unbeatable determination when her team had few subs and she played an entire game at her coach’s request.
“When you make a commitment, it is like making a promise,” she said. “I have had to miss a lot of parties in order to keep my commitment to my soccer team. It’s hard to make those decisions, but I really do like soccer a lot. I don’t feel bad about it because I know it’s the right thing to do.”
Ms. Brown recently traveled to Europe to play soccer with her team, raising the money for her trip by selling raffle tickets and other items.
According to Paul Dayrell, coach of the Alliance Speed, Ms. Brown is an integral part of her soccer team and has the ability to play at almost any position.
“She really is a fantastic player,” Dayrell said. “She plays with a lot of heart and determination. She’s very athletic and plays with a lot of skill. Grace is the most versatile of all the players I’ve coached. She truly adapts very quickly and is very comfortable and always seems to do what’s asked of her.”
Other Summer Citrus Soccer Stars are:
Northeast, Region I (CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV):
Taylor Ross, 15, Burrillville, RI, and Carson Ruhland, 10, Poughkeepsie, NY
Midwest, Region II (IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI):
Ms. Brown and Christopher Gibson, 13, West Des Moines, IA
South, Region III (AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX):
Shelby Meckstroth, 17, New Orleans, LA, and Hunter Henry, 13, Warner Robins, GA
Far West, Region IV (AL, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY):
Julian N. Carvajal, 9, Fresno, CA, and Bianka Parrish, 13, Lakewood, WA
The South Africa Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum is a consortium of 350 South African growers eligible to export summer citrus to the United States. WCCPF facilitates logistical, marketing and sales support coordination of their products. Its mission is to maintain and expand its role as the preferred supplier, and to grow and ship the best summer citrus in the world to the U.S. marketplace. The WCCPF meets and exceeds USDA and USFDA protocols by rigorously adhering to its self-imposed Seal-of-Approval Guidelines, guaranteeing its citrus consistently provides superior quality that is easy to peel, seedless, nutritious and safe. For more information, visit www.summertcitrus.com or find South African Summer Citrus at www.facebook.com/summercitrus.