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Thursday, April 28, 2011

DC SCORES volunteer spotlight: Chris Richardson

Beginning each month during the DC SCORES season, we will feature a volunteer for their dedication to DC SCORES and the community.

DC SCORES is able to serve over 800 student-athletes at 26 schools in the District with the help of energetic volunteers who are committed to making a difference. There is a volunteer role at DC SCORES for everyone, including: individuals, families, corporate groups, civic groups, students seeking community service hours and others. We can accommodate all schedules and time commitments, whether you would like to volunteer just one day a year, or five days a week! To get involved visit the volunteer website.

Chris Richardson has been one of DC SCORES’ most dedicated volunteers throughout his time spent serving the organization, having volunteered as a game day referee for the past six years. A soccer player himself, Chris got involved with DC SCORES after meeting Executive Director Amy Nakamoto and Athletic Director Kenny Owens and learning of our need for referee volunteers.

What do you find most interesting about DC SCORES?

I love the number of kids involved in the game of soccer through DC SCORES. Soccer is a great game and a universal language. It is also available to many kids who do not have specialized talent needed for other games.

Describe your most enjoyable experience volunteering for DC SCORES.

The thing I enjoy the most is getting to recognize kids for whom I have reffed more than one game. I make a point of saying hello to them. I also like to compliment them when they make good plays or a strong effort. I try to keep it neutral, since I am the ref, but I also try to make my presence part of the positive environment for the kids.

What motivates you to volunteer?

I can really see the impact I personally have on these kids by the way I approach them and the job of reffing. Many of the DC SCORES kids have a lot of challenges in their lives, so I want to be a positive presence, a positive influence and a positive example for them. I also love the way DC SCORES is bringing soccer into many neighborhoods and communities that have not historically been where the game of soccer has been based in this country.

What do you like to do with your free time?

I am fairly active. I play soccer myself on a DC recreational team. I also ski, surf, sail and hike quite a bit.

Who is your favorite athlete?

David Beckham, and outside of soccer Wayne Gretzky. What I like about both of them is that their play is not showy, almost not noticeable in that sense, but they both are relatively unselfish and play to make their teammates look good, rather than to stand out as individuals.

Who is your favorite singer or poet?

Van Morrison.

What is your favorite food?

Peanut butter.

Any other interesting information about yourself?

I speak French and Swahili, I have climbed the two highest mountains in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, and I sailed a 45-foot sailboat across the Atlantic with a group of five other people.

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