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Home Is Where Providence Is

Leading up to this weekend's MCAC Soccer Final Fours at Providence, we will be featuring an athlete profile from each of our varsity soccer teams. Today's feature is on Dale Danso from the Providence Pilots Men's Soccer Team.

Written by Daniel Rempel

For many students, Providence is more than just a classroom. What they learn in the classroom is important, but a significant part of the experience comes through the friendships they make, the activities that they engage in, and the way that they grow as individuals in a community. Such is the case for fourth-year student Dale Danso.

Danso, a sociology major, is a popular face among the Providence community. He is the assistant captain of the men's soccer team, has served on various committees during his time at Providence, and always has a smile on his face. But Danso has a unique story, one that may be unknown to those who first meet him.

Danso was born in Toronto, but when he was very young he moved to Zimbabwe. He moved around from city to city while there, but after nine years, ended up in England. After spending three years in England, he then settled in Pomona, California, where he completed his high school education.

Like many high school students, Danso felt that he would like to further his education, so he began applying to schools all over Canada. He says it was the actions of men's soccer head coach Martin Ward that convinced him to come to Providence.

"It sounded like something that was more than just soccer," Danso explains. "As I was praying about it, I felt that God was telling me I should come [to Providence], which was mainly through coach [Martin Ward]. He seemed interested in more than just getting me [to Providence], but in helping me as well."

Soccer has been a significant part of Danso's experience at Providence; being something that he has really enjoyed, as well as helping him grow and understand who he is as a person.  Coming to Providence as someone who had never lived on the prairies, soccer allowed Danso to find a place in a community and to fit in in a way that he thinks he would not have, had not been for soccer.

Yet, perhaps most importantly, soccer gave Danso a place to worship.

"Soccer has been more than just winning championships and improving skill-wise, it has provided a place for personal growth – spiritual growth. So where as you'd think that I would grow spiritually from classes or going to chapel or small group bible studies or worship nights, I think a lot of it has come from soccer."

As a senior student, Danso views his role as more than just someone who wants to get his degree. Because of his experience living around the world and the unsettlement that it has brought, he has found Providence to provide the feel of home. He desires for new students, especially the international ones, to feel the same support and community that has helped him to grow, and he is intent on enhancing Providence’s community so they feel welcome.

Providence will be sad to see him go come April, but we will rejoice knowing that he will continue to lead and serve in whatever capacity he finds himself in. ­

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