Wednesday, 22 May 2013

On the ball

You can call a football match a friendly, but both teams will still want to win.
Our latest trip to Malindi Soccer Academy was for a friendly between two sides made up from local lads from Malindi and our Happy House kids.
And teams are a mix of all kids so they get to know each other and to understand what it is to be a team.
The academy, supported by Genoa,   uses football as incentive to get street kids  to go to school. If they miss school, or under-perform, they are excluded from training for a few weeks.
It works well, and boys who might slip through the net when it comes to educationl have a real reason for wanting to be in class and to do their best.
As you know,  Mama has always emphasised the importance of education and our children are, as a result, highly motivated to do well.
Our girls enjoy playing too, but for this match they came along to support the lads.
They get free training at the academy, and enjoy mixing with the kids they meet there and just revel in a game of soccer.
This match, on a very hot Sunday, was preceded by a photo-shoot when Freddie Curatalo, who runs the soccer school,  also spoke to the kids about the need to work hard in school in order to win the right to play hard at football.
The match was a hard fought battle between the two sides, but there was no winner nor loser.
 The result was a very friendly 1-1 draw, followed by drinks and snacks provided by Freddie.
Then came the journey back to Malindi and a warm welcome home from the little kids who were so happy to see their big brothers and sisters back again.