Ropapa Mensah Set to Bring Second Annual Oguaa Cup to Ghana in Offseason
NASHVILLE - In the words of Nashville Soccer Club forward Ropapa Mensah, playing soccer in his hometown is as important as food. Children grow up with a ball at their feet, and a day without playing is like a day without eating. His community's passion for the game was his inspiration in establishing the annual Oguaa Cup, a tournament that provides a safe and fun environment for children to play the game in Cape Coast, Ghana.
"Because of the way I started, I didn't get much help," Mensah explained. "I feel like we all need help from each other. Me helping them would give these kids in my hometown confidence to play. I want to have a positive impact on them. When it all started last year, I was thinking I would use my own money and do it to see how it goes. It ended up successful and I decided to inform everyone and begin fundraising for the next tournament."
Mensah's goal for the tournament is to inspire the younger generation to pursue their dreams. He began his professional career at a young age, playing for International Allies F.C. of the Ghanaian Premier League at just 19 years old. In 2017, Mensah made the jump to American soccer and joined the Harrisburg City Islanders for the 2017 USL Championship season before joining Nashville SC in 2018. He hopes that his story will motivate children in his hometown to work hard both on the field and in their community. He plans to provide them with the tools they need to play their best, so the tournament is accepting donations such as balls, cleats, socks, jerseys and goalkeeper gloves to give participants this year.
Knowing that young players in Cape Coast are looking up to him as a role model, Mensah is motivated to play better and continue to give back. He says soccer reaches beyond just playing the game and that it can be used to help others find success and gain confidence.
"It definitely keeps me motivated to work hard when I'm playing" he continued. "I feel like I can do more. I can help others. It's not about just playing soccer. That pushes me to do more so I can help others."
Fans wanting to donate to this year's Oguaa Cup in Ghana can do so through its GoFundMe page here. Mensah is also accepting donations of balls, cleats, socks, jerseys and gloves.
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