August 20th, 2012: By Mario Kurki, freelance journalist, participant in Horn of Africa Development Initiative partnership with Coaches Across Continents
Soccer is now a game for all in the world. Its through my first encounter with Coaches Across Continents that my initial view about soccer skills had entirely changed where simple soccer skills had turned to a tool of change in our society.
In a delightful tone I am glad to be part of training session facilitated by Coaches Across Continents. It was until then that my perspective about soccer had really get a new meaning. Rather than playing soccer for fun and professionalism now soccer can be a fundamental tool of change to transform lives and livelihood in our society.
Through soccer we speak what is in our mind, we communicate and act as a team hence settling our problems like conflicts, tribal clashes and social disputes amongst us, irrespective of our ethnic differences, culture, attitude and level of understanding and now soccer skills are applicable in solving problem in real life situation.
Its only soccer that players of different ethnic background can browse shoulders where ball turn to be a common interest for the teams and now a channel of communication is created for the togetherness of the players. Where the disparity between them is forgotten and virtues are nurtured and vices are eroded for a peaceful co-existence.
GOAL program is another flipside of the coin as a part of training sessions delivered by Coaches Across Continents and we are grateful as Marsabit people to be part of the marvelous program being the first in Africa, the program addresses the issue of women and girl child empowerment through soccer where confidence, healthy living, role modeling, conflict resolution, happy and holistic life for positive change in our society through soccer.
Its from the life skills acquired from Coaches that inspired many to change their ways of life, where gender sensitivity in society is an important aspect in sustainable development since everyone has the ability to change his/her own society and world around. Soccer for change, soccer for life.