Bethany’s “cool older kids” encourage the next generation of soccer players

I began playing soccer at Bethany the first year they opened the middle school (1996-1997). We had a co-ed middle school team. As our practice would end, high schoolers would begin to come out onto the field. We were hyper-aware that the cool older kids were watching us, and we'd play our absolute best, hoping to impress them. After our practice, the high schoolers would take the field and we'd linger, wide-eyed. Every once in a while Tara, Hannah and I would stay and play on the field with the girls high school team. Those days were the coolest! We continued to play alongside each other all throughout high school, setting county records together. Whenever we had the chance during high school, we'd try to arrive at the soccer field just before middle school practice ended, taking our place as the cool older kids to be an energetic encouragement to the younger ones. 


I hope that my matching donation this week can be an energetic encouragement to the next generation of soccer players! Playing soccer for Bethany provided so many great memories, life learning experiences, and fun! 


Donate now for Sarah's Soccer Match Challenge


Since it's still COVID and my PhD classes are online, I could wear some of my near 20 year old soccer swag to celebrate soccer week. I've had to sew them in a few places, but they are still my favorite! The long sleeve t-shirt features our back-to-back sectional wins (2000 and 2001) and our season record (which included 9 shut-outs). The sweatpants have been a staple of my wardrobe throughout the pandemic, and have traveled with me all over the world.


Sarah is pictured here, on the top on right with Sarah Buller and Tara Plank, and below in her ancient Bruin gear!


Sarah (Thompson) Nahar is currently a 2nd year PhD student living on traditional Haudenosaunee Confederacy land (Syracuse, New York). Her research focus is on the concepts of “waste”, the necessary worldwide shift to ecological sanitation, and how orienting stories about the Earth might influence people to make such a shift. She is matriculating concurrently through the department of Religion at Syracuse University and the department of Environmental Studies at neighboring SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Sarah was a 2019 Rotary Peace Fellow in Thailand. She holds a Masters of Divinity from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and a BA in Comparative Women’s Studies and International Studies from Spelman College. There she co-founded the Atlanta University Center Peace Coalition and was student government president. From 2014-2017 Sarah was Executive Director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, an organization building partnerships to transform violence and oppression in global locations severely impacted by U.S. imperialist policies. In 2018 she worked at generational bridgebuilding for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously she was the North American representative to Mennonite World Conference's Youth and Young Adult Executive Committee. With a soccer ball tucked under one arm, her passion for liberation theology, nonviolent direct action, and transnational feminist solidarity, have allowed her to cultivate worldwide community.