Friday, July 3, 2009
Game Day Lesson or Lesson for Life...
“Today was game day. We got into the van, heading for the Soweto Community Soccer game. When we arrive, I couldn’t help but be taken aback, because the field was just plain old dirt. Well, let me revise that – there was also plenty of broken glass, trash, old hoses, belts from old vehicles – and yes, two soccer goals. Wow, this was the field we were to compete on!?
There were no lines marking the bounds, BUT there were twenty two excited kids, ready to play the game that they loved. So, we cleared our minds, put our game faces on – and we played.
The Soweto team was losing the first half, so Coach Lucky and I explained to the team that they needed to be more aggressive. We told them to hold their positions on the field. With five minutes left in the game, we were still losing – but then – with 45 seconds remaining, they poured it on with a penalty shot and scored! Then, a young boy on our team ripped a shot from about 25 yards away to get the go ahead goal – and we won the game!! What a great feeling. For all the adversity these young children have overcome and are still facing today, they needed this small victory in their lives.
I wish you could have seen the joy on their faces – shared their moment of achievement. It is something I won’t soon forget.
It's imprinted on me in part, because these boys taught me an important lesson on that dirty, South African soccer field. That joy is a gift given to us at birth and it is ours to embrace or to lose. Even in what can be miserable conditions, these poor boys found pure joy and celebrated it.
The joy that is in them, is profound, and it’s something that nobody an take away on game day.. or on any day. Until next time... ”
(Contents by Sydney Harrison/TN)