Friday, July 3, 2009

Soweto Soccer ...

“I watched as kids play with a soccer ball that had been repaired and patched.. and repaired and patched so many times the it hardly looked familiar anymore. Oddly, the kids didn't seem phased by the battered ball, but I was.

That’s when Kenton, my guide, introduced me to a man named – Lucky. I would latter learn just how fitting a name can be. He was Coach lucky, the Soweto soccer coach. “Thank you for coming, said Coach Lucky. I would love for you to teach the boys some of your strategies.”
As Coach Lucky spoke, I said to myself, “Wow, now here is a man that can teach me and a lot. And not just about soccer, but about survival – about life.”

As I began to pass out the donated soccer balls and equipment, which I had brought over from The States, I quickly realized how appreciative Coach Lucky and the young players are for everything they have and everything they receive. I was passing out the balls when I felt someone grab my hand. It was Coach Lucky. He looked at me and said, “Thank You!”. Two simple words that made my heart sink.

It gave be great pleasure to watch the kids inflate each ball into a circle of – hope. Soon, the kids were playing soccer with them and that is significant because here- soccer is more than just a sport. For many children soccer is all they have, that’s it. Their hopes and dreams are formed and sometimes die on a soccer field. It is also where children, some of whom are orphaned, can just be kids for a while. And, as I was about to see, game day… would be extra special – win OR lose. “ (Contents by Sydney Harrison/TN)

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