Nicholas Griffith, founder and manager of Crown Trace FC, had no idea that his work with a small community in Trinidad and Tobago would eventually lead to him winning the Power of Football Contest presented by Kia. Watch the video above to get the full Crown Trace story.
Running from 24 February to 17 March 2014, the Power of Football contest asked the FIFA.com community to send in their nominations for individuals who were harnessing the power of football to make a positive change in their communities. John Patterson, who had been inspired by the young coach, submitted Nicholas's story to the contest. A shortlist of three entries was then presented to FIFA.com users for voting. The story captivated fans from all over the world, who voted in great numbers for the Crown Trace submission.
Nicholas no idea he had been nominated until he made the three-name shortlist. “Someone sent me a link stating when were shortlisted. I was shock. I always knew we hand an amazing story and I always wanted to share it. I never believed it would happen on a world scale though.“
If winning a brand-new Kia Soul weren’t enough, Kia decided to go the extra-mile and surprise the kids of Crown Trace FC by having Trinidad and Tobago internationals Kenwyne Jones, Stern John and Carlos Edwards pop by a training session with some new kits and training gear. “We are the talk of the town now” Nicholas said beaming. “It’s amazing to think that our little club is known by the world now. In my wildest dreams I never believed this would happen.”
“My first encounter with Crown Trace FC was in 2013,” said John Patterson, who wrote and submitted the Crown Trace story. “Seeing a youth with a plan to change the outlook of his community using football as the medium. It inspired me to write about Crown Trace." For his efforts, John also won an incredible prize, a trip for two to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final™ at the Maracana. "To be in my favourite footballing country, at the World Cup Final. It’s a dream come," John told FIFA.com.
While there are moments of immense positivity, Nicholas has also had to endure the tragedies that occur in the damaged community he is trying to improve. One of his players lost their lives as a result of the violence his community is afflicted by. “Just 16 years he was,” Nicholas says. “I am motivated to work harder with them. I cannot lose another player. I love my community, so despite the challenges I really want to see a change. If you don’t, who will?” he says.
The team endures and there seems to be no stopping Nicholas’s Crown Trace dreamers. Crow Trace recently attended their first ever-international tournament in Canada. “An international tournament. This was my short term dream,” he says, “but my long term dream is that Crown Trace becomes a professional club with players moving up from the junior team to represent us in the first team.”
And what does Nicholas think of this fantastic new ride? “I never do what I do for money or success but the Kia Soul is a great motivation,” he says. “Sometimes I feel so weary because of the lack of support. But now, I feel encouraged to labor again.”
Nicholas’s philosophy, which he hopes others will embrace, is simple but potent. “You must accept that life is not about you,” he says. “You must be selfless. And know that as much as you give out, you will get in. There is no greater victory than giving of yourself for the benefit of others. In the end, you never know how much of a difference you can make if you give of your time, love, your ear and resources. Lives can be changed and even saved.”