Tag: football

Haji proudly holds a soccer trophy he won.
Jan 20 2016

Talent, hard work benefit young footballer

Imagine the combined enthusiasm of Americans for the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball if it was focused on a single sport. That comes close to describing the passion people in many countries have for soccer.

Haji is a 15-year-old Tanzanian boy who has been sponsored for four years. Like many youth, he’s passionate about the sport most of the world calls football. What makes his story exceptional is that he has the skill to go along with the passion.

Keep reading

Jun 11 2010

Coaching the future

Yesterday, we introduced you to three sponsored kids who are part of the soccer training camp. To continue the World Cup fever, here’s an interview* with their coach, Stanley. At the bottom of this interview is a fun video of the kids practicing, so be sure to watch these future World Cup athletes in training!

StanleyWhat is your name?
My name is Stanley Remberto Santillana Ortiz.

How many children are in the soccer camp?
In the soccer camp, we have approximately 25-30 children.

What is the average age of the children?
It fluctuates between the ages of 7 and 18.

Why does CFCA offer this camp?
They offer this camp to introduce some soccer basics to the children and to give them an opportunity to be together and understand the sport.

What is the value that this camp brings to the sponsorship program?
The value that it brings is to give the children a little more attention in the area of sports and, at the same time, it doesnít distract them from their studies. Both are very important.

What part of the training do the children enjoy the most?
What the children most enjoy is perhaps after the training, they have a scrimmage ñ a little game. This is the thing they like the most.

How long have they been training?
We have been training and practicing for about a year and three months.

What is the idea or goal for the kids who come to soccer practice?
The fundamental idea is for the child to have fun, and that the child learns to play soccer. Our goal is to include them in a soccer tournament where they can compete with other teams and they can have healthy fun and play together.

How is the practice? What time do you start and how long do they practice?
We have practice Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Tuesdays and Thursdays, practices are in the morning from 8-10. We begin with stretching, physical movements, then we do tactical movements and techniques with the ball. Finally, we end with a game.

What satisfaction do you get from coaching soccer?
Since I was little, I have always liked soccer, and the children motivate me, because I see their satisfaction when they are playing. This encourages me to follow through with them.

What changes have you seen in the children?
Many of them used to spend their time at home doing nothing. One is capable of detecting when a child doesnít have advanced, motivating activities. During our training, I have seen the improvement and evolution that it has given the child. I can see it there already when they run, kick the ball or whatever we are doing on the training field.

Is it difficult to coach the children?
Well, difficult, no, although sometimes there are children with a stronger temperament, and as a coach, you have to learn when to avoid or to respond to their temperaments, but it is not difficult. It is all about knowing the way children are and then getting along with them.

What do you do when a child has a strong temper?
When we have a child like that, I speak with him or her. If this does not work, I can take him or her out of the practice, and it is then when the child reflects and thinks “I am being taken out of the practice, and I want to continue playing. I better behave because I want to be in the practice,” This is a good way to mold his or her personality, and things calm down at the same time.

What are the difficulties that children face in order to come to the practice?
I would say that the difficulties I have seen are, sometimes, their own parents. Sometimes parents tell their children “Look, don’t go to practice because you need to work or need to do this and that.” For example, to pick coffee during the picking season. The child discontinues training because there is no other option, and this is the biggest difficulty I see. The child can be highly motivated, but when parents say this is it, they feel very discouraged.

What is their preparation right before a game?
Well, they all get dressed and geared up. We do some stretching, some movements with the ball, and then I talk to them and tell them what we are going to do once we are on the field and how we need to get ready.

When you have the children gathered together, what do you tell them?
My words are mostly motivational and encouraging, to play the way we have been during the week, just to pass the ball around and to kick it to the goal posts. I try to keep them motivated.

Have you won any games?
We have won games and we have also lost games. Sometimes we have won with a difference of six or seven goals, and the children feel very motivated, but when we are losing, they donít like it too much. They don’t like losing, but it is just another way you learn.

When you win, how do you reward them? When you lose, what do you tell them?
When we win, I congratulate them all. When we lose, I encourage them to continue working hard during the training sessions.

*Thank you again to Naresly Callito for the interview and to Daniel Hernandez for the photos and video footage.

Jun 10 2010

World Cup fever

Look around, you may notice some telltale signs that a little sporting event begins tomorrow. The stage for soccer’s greatest tournament is set. In less than 24 hours, the FIFA World Cup, held every four years and arguably the most popular sporting event in the world, kicks off (excuse the pun) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Soccer, or football, depending on where you live, is a widely popular game among children and adults alike. In El Salvador, the CFCA Santa Ana project provides a soccer training camp for sponsored children as part of the sponsorship program benefits. We sent field reporters* Daniel Hernandez and Naresly Callito to interview some of the kids about the camp and find out which team they will be supporting this year’s World Cup.

We have soccer fever. Do you?

Name: Eduardo
Age: 16
World Cup team:
Spain, because I believe that they have many important players.
Favorite player:
My favorite player is Fernando Torres because he is very good at finishing the play and feints well.
What do you like the most about the CFCA soccer camp?
I like the training that they give us. The thing that I like the most about the soccer camp is that we scrimmage at the end of practice. And, I like hanging out with my friends.
Name: Jonathan
Age: 13
World Cup team:
The team that I support for the World Cup is Brazil because they have many important players like Kak·.
Favorite player:
My favorite player is Messi, because when he goes to score a goal, he is very quick. He has good technique and passes well.
What do you like the most about the CFCA soccer camp?
The thing that I like the most about the soccer camp is coming to play soccer with my friends and kicking around the ball.
Name: Jennifer
Age: 14
World Cup team:
The team I support is Honduras because it is a Central American team and has many good players.
Favorite player:
Lionel Messi, because he is a good player. He goes head to head with the goalkeeper and is very fast.
What do you like the most about the CFCA soccer camp?
The thing that I like the most is sharing with my teammates. Attending the camp entertains me. I learn a little more each time from what they teach us and it is an unforgettable experience.

*A big thanks to Daniel and Naresly, two journalism students who are interning with CFCA under the supervision of Henry Flores, director of the communications center in El Salvador.

Jul 16 2009

Serious fun: part 4

By Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher

Soccer has grown from an obscure game played by a handful of kids to being the most popular, organized sport for children in the U.S. With more than 3 million youth registered each year in formal leagues, soccer has firmly established itself as part of the American childhood.

Without knowing it, kids who play soccer here in the U.S. are aligning themselves with the millions, perhaps billions, of children worldwide who play soccer (more commonly known as ìfootballî). However, these kids in developing countries donít always experience soccer with minivans, uniforms, coaches and juice boxes waiting for them when they are done. These are the kids who find any round object and a group of friends and play wherever they can find an open space. They run barefoot, kicking the ball through a goal they have fashioned out of scrap metal or their imaginations.

Henry Flores, director of the CFCA Communications Center in El Salvador, says that CFCA staff will often organize soccer games with the scholarship students because they find this to be a great way for staff to connect with the youth.

ìWith these games we are telling the students, ëWe want to spend time with you!í î Henry also observes that soccer is only fun when you play with others. It is a community sport. It unifies responsibility, ability and discipline.

Marissa Gargaro plays soccer during a mission awareness trip to El Salvador.“Plus, you donít need lots of equipment, just a 25-cent ball and a small space in your community. You often see children in the different communities who spend hours playing street soccer. When a vehicle is passing trough you hear, ëGAME OFF / GAME ON!í to let the children know.”

Often, when there have been teen mission awareness trip groups, the staff will organize soccer games because it is a simple way to break the ice, create community and strengthen bonds of friendship. “And,” says Henry, “You need no translator for it.”

In your next letter, have your soccer kid ask their sponsored friend about “football” in their country. Do they enjoy playing? Does their country have a national soccer team? Talk with them about the idea that they are in solidarity with their friend simply by playing soccer. What similarities does your child see in the way their friend plays football, and how soccer is experienced here in the States? What are the differences?

Related links
Serious fun, part 1
Serious fun, part 2
Serious fun: Creative play