Imagine a young girl walking along a dusty track between endless rice paddies. She has a skip to her step as she heads to the nearby volleyball pitch, net strung between two coconut trees. The sun is relentless in the Cambodian countryside, and she thinks nothing of her bare feet, enjoying the sense of being able to touch the earth, dust between her toes. The volleyball competition between the different groups of village kids isn’t the most important thing to her, it’s being able to escape from her 12 year old worries. She can shelve the stress she feels about her parents latest quarrel, the sulking refusal to join the family meal. She is distracted at school with thoughts that circle inside her head, wondering if her parents will stay together, wondering who she will find when she goes home. When she’s playing sport, she focusses on the ball and on her team mates, desperate not to let the team down, hoping to avoid any recrimination or blame for a fumbled shot or bad pass. She wants her team to know she is trying her best. She laughs out loud and loves sport.
As an adult now, Navy brings these memories to her job at Flame. She is passionate about sport and believes that it’s not just about skills on the field. Sport is a way out of the mundane drag of life, an escape from the monotony of the slums. It’s football, of course it’s about the physicality of the sport, health and strength, balance and muscle development, but it’s so much more than that. The technical aspects of football can be summarised by how one team conquers another, but the process involves the kids brains as they learn to read the other team, communicate with their own team, maintain trust and relationships, and plan and strategise on the run. The skills learned on the field can be transferred to daily life.
To continue training the bodies and minds of the 65 young Flame footballers, we need your support. Please donate and do it now so that we can make the most of the Global Giving Campaign