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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Volunteer spotlight: Sean Tipton, longtime soccer referee

Sean with U.S. National Team member Julie Foudy.
Each month, DC SCORES highlights a volunteer that has made a significant impact on the program. It would be impossible to give 1,500 students throughout the District the quality programming they receive without the help of our volunteers. To learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.DCSCORES.org. This month we highlight Sean Tipton, one of our star volunteer referees!


DCS: Where are you from and where do you work?

I live in Takoma Park and I just turned 50 on Friday and I have two teenage sons. I work as the Chief Advocacy and Policy Officer for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a professional group for physicians and other healthcare professionals.

DCS: How did you get involved with DC SCORES?

I am a long time soccer geek and I played as a kid and in high school and college. I actually also coached college soccer as well. I heard about you guys through D.C. United because I am season ticket holder and I wanted to do some good, so DC SCORES was an awesome fit! I have been refereeing on and off for DC SCORES for 3-4 years now and have been to a couple Jamborees too!

DCS: What do you find most interesting about DC SCORES?

I think DC SCORES does an awesome job of getting girls involved in sports even if it is not the standard in their cultures. For example, in many Hispanic cultures soccer is often thought of as a boy’s sport.

DCS: Describe your experience volunteering for DC SCORES.

I really love the combination of sports, poetry and academics. One of the things I tell people about DC SCORES is that they offer kids the opportunity to play soccer but also nudges them to get involved in the arts. And I think a lot of kids discover that they actually like something they didn’t know they liked.

DCS: What motivates you to want to volunteer?

I figure that at this point, anyone who can pay me to ref doesn’t truly need me and that’s why I like donating my time to DC SCORES.

DCS: What do you like to do with your free time?

I watch a lot of soccer games and I go to sporting events with my own kids. I travel a lot for work as well.

DCS: Who is your favorite athlete?

Pele, because I was a kid in the 70s and that was when he first came to the States. At that point, soccer was just becoming popular and he was part of the reason I decided to try playing soccer. However, Muhammad Ali is my all-time favorite athlete and a genuine hero of mine. Meeting him was one of the great thrills of my life.

DCS: Who is your favorite singer or poet?

Bruce Springsteen

DCS: Fun fact?

I have been interviewed on radio stations in four different countries: USA, Canada, Jamaica and England.

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