One of the boys that I coach came up to me the other day and said, “Coach do you know that you must thank my dad that I play football”? I was wondering why I should do it and asked him “How do you mean”? He continued to tell me that he was watching his favourite cartoon show on the TV when his dad walked into the lounge and switched the TV to the sports channel, he was disgusted and threw a fit asked his dad to please turn the channel back to his cartoon. Well, his dad just ignored him, sat down, and started watching the football match.
He continued to tell me how angry he was that he could not watch his cartoons, but eventually each time his dad cheered he could not help himself watching a little at a time. When half time came his dad went into the kitchen and made them sandwiches, by then he felt a bit better and started watching the rest of the game.
Once the game finished his dad asked “Well, was that so bad”? He still felt a little angry and answered, “It was not that bad, but I missed by cartoons”.
The morning of the next game his dad asked him to take a ride with him so that they could go buy snack to enjoy while they watch the next game, the thought of snacks made him happy and when they got home, he had forgotten about his cartoons and settled in to watch the football match with his dad.
During the game, his dad explained some of the rules and soon he was just as excited about the match, but it also gave him some time to spend with his dad, with no sister or mum around.
As weeks went by with them watching every match, he felt that he also wanted to play football. His dad agreed to think about it and find out which club would be suitable for him to join. When he came home the Friday after school his dad informed him that he had found the perfect club to enroll him and that his first session was the Saturday morning.
The Saturday morning, he was extremely excited as his dad had enrolled at First Touch for the weekend sessions. When they got to the pitches, he felt a little shy as he realised that it was a bunch of kids that he had never met. As the session carried on, he soon forgot his shyness and made friends with the other kids and they all enjoyed the practice so much.
He then looked at and said, “You see Coach that is why you have to thank my dad, if he did not change the channel that day, I would still be watching Cartoons and you would never have had me in one of your teams”.
This conversation made me realise once again what a beautiful sport football is, anyone can play it and it does not matter if they are scrawny or whether they have biceps the size of your head, it is a great game for anyone to play.
To enjoy football, you do not need proper equipment, kids can play at the beach with a volleyball and have two towels as their goal posts. Football is a wonderful way for kids to be active while they are having fun.
Some people believe that football is just another sport and I feel this is the biggest lie, football is not just a game, it is a passion. It changes us as humans and helps to break down the barriers of race, language, color, and creed. Football gives us the opportunity to enjoy the game regardless of what separates us as humans.