soccer4children…the dream realised

With the soccer4children soccer clinic drawing to a close, days 9 and 10 seemed to melt into each other. To an outside observer, the children appear to have known each other for much longer than the ten days the clinic had been going.

The children had forged solid bonds with each other, and one could sense their reluctance to go home after the clinic had ended. All the children were presented with gifts, the most important to them, being a replica “Jabulani” soccer ball.

Some of the children who had signed on for the Silver Ring Thing abstinence pledge, received their rings and bibles, ready to go back to their homes, filled with new leadership skills, and well sharpened soccer skills.

The experience, on the whole, is one which these children will cherish for life and apply in their daily lives. Their different communities are richer for this experience. As has been remarked in an earlier article, “it is experiences such as these that the children will remember for the rest of their lives..” (Stan Deacon)

These children have been challenged beyond their usual limits, and have risen to the challenge, both in their conduct, and the humility with which they have borne themselves throughout.

For soccer4children as an organization, we envision the dream being continued until well after next year.There is an urgent need for grassroots development within the soccer arena, in our country, and we are glad to have spearheaded a movement which will not only impact on the children’s lives, but on improving the standard of our soccer where it matters most-the young children who have a passion for the sport!

To echo Dr. Danny Jordaan’s words, “…You filling the hall today is a recognition of what is not happening,” in reference to the lack of development at the grassroots level of the sport in South Africa.

It has been a privilege to see these children coming to the Eikenhof facility as an undisciplined bunch, but the difference upon their departure has been remarkable. Looking at them gathered together on their last day, a single, disciplined unit, filled with hope, and daring to dream that nothing is impossible.

The communities they will be returning to, will most assuredly be stronger, and we trust that the lessons learned will be imparted so that the wider community may be impacted. In order for this initiative to be strengthened, and the dream of at least 10 clinics (700 children) per year realized, soccer4children will continue actualizing the dream, in order that our children may have a positive influence and impact on our lives.

The year 2011 is almost upon us, bringing with it fresh challenges, and we stand ready to make the vision and the dream which is soccer4children, a reality. One which we endeavour to see changing lives through soccer, and in turn, changing communities through the sport which many regard as a global phenomenon, which has indeed, changed lives on a global scale.

To find out more about soccer4children, or to donate your time, equipment or funds, please click here.

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