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Sports & Education Program Comes to Costa Rica

Costa Rica News – One of the most important things in life is giving back to others. The value of  giving back to those less fortunate or that need a helping hand is unmistakable. Professional athletes have the ability to lead by example when it comes to giving back and that is just what McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Scott Schoettgen have done by starting the Central America Sports & Education Project. 

Central America sports and education projectBoth had been teammates with the San Jose Sabercats in the Arena Football League. During the off season each of the football players decided to spend time in Central America in the summer of 2013.

While in Central America, they helped with Beyond Sports’ youth sports program and also connected with Celina De Solo. Celina helps run Glasswing International and orchestrates community development projects of all sorts, including Glasswing’s “My School, My Space” initiative to create a safe, gang-free, and enriching educational environment for Central American youth. Many of Glasswing’s neediest school beneficiaries have unsafe and dilapidated classrooms and lack safe play space so Glasswing is going to work.

From their experiences working with the kids in these communities, McLeod and Scott were massively inspired to help out with Glasswing’s efforts. Upon returning from their recent time in Central America, they contacted former teammates and friends with a concept. The Central America Sports & Education Project was born.

The project is a trip through Central America in 2014 to host free youth sports clinics for kids in poor neighborhoods and renovate a needy school. This  is just the start of an effort to improve the quality and accessibility of sports and education globally and it is starting in Costa Rica’s own backyard.

Sports and education have proven over and over to be necessary vehicles for building valuable collaboration and affecting individual, community, and global enrichment worldwide. While Central America is home to some of the world’s premier travel destinations, the region also has some of the world’s most gang-violent countries. In collaboration with Glasswing International and Beyond Sports, this group of current and former professional athletes is traveling through Costa Rica and El Salvador to connect with kids and communities through a series of sports clinics before rebuilding a school in El Salvador.”

In San Jose, CR, we will be doing one clinic at a school during the day for their PE period. While we were all primarilyCentral America sports and education project football players in the US, we also played other sports at a pretty high level so at the clinic kids will rotate between stations for each sport we’re doing…Football, Soccer, Basketball primarily. This clinic is set up by Beyond Sports ( This organization has been bringing American student athletes down to Costa Rica to train, travel, coach youth clinics, and take classes at the universities since 2010. Beyond has an incredible mission that I truly believe in: giving college athletes the opportunity to study abroad, serve abroad, and still maintain their commitment to athletics.

In El Salvador, we’ll spend March 3-6 at Complejo Educativo El Sunzal working with the kids in school, but then doing sports clinics in the afternoons as well. On Thursday March 6th, Glasswing International ( has coordinated about 150-200 volunteers to renovate that school. Our fundraising and contributions are paying for that renovation, but Glasswing deserves all the credit for everything that is going on there. They are incredible, we’re merely visitors supporting what they have been doing an incredible job with.

The Central America Sports and Education Project crew consisting of McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Scott Schoettgen, Burl Toler III, Cameron Toler and Tony Krikorian will be offering a training/practice to a group of the American football players from the Premier League of Costa Rica on the morning of March 1st before attending the Week 6 game day of the 2014 Championship Calendar at Estadio Pipilo Umana, Moravia, San Jose.

Game times: 2:30pm SAINTS vs DRAGONS and 6:00pm PANTHERS vs TOROS.

(Bye Week for the BEARS & BULLDOGS)

The crew has expressed interest to learn about the development of the sport in Costa Rica, and discuss future collaborations.

For more information in English about American Football in Costa Rica:

Central America Sports & Education Project Donation Page–3/x/3914940

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