Monday, May 27, 2013

League Update

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

CFDP U-16 Youth Football League Update: Today, CFDP held a meeting at our office for all coaches of youth football teams in Kumba interested in registering a team with our U-16 league that will play out through July and August. The meeting was successful. There were 11 people in attendance, although some of which were from the same team. Currently, we have seven teams registered to play in our league. The management team expects that we will have between 10 and 12 teams by the time registration closes on 31 May.

The league will kick off Sunday, 7 July 2013. Our league is going to be unique. Although we at CFDP love the game of football, ultimately, we are only using football as a means to educate children in an underserved area of Cameroon, Africa and help them develop life skills. Therefore, our league will integrate CFDP's educational curriculum into each match. Each match will have an educational theme--for example, HIV/AIDS awareness--and an extensive pre-game ceremony based on that particular theme. There are two components to each pre-game ceremony. Firstly, teams will partake in an educational football activity that on the surface, appears to be centered on practicing technical football skills, but in reality has a deeper, educational purpose that coaches will discuss with their players after the activity has been completed. Secondly, minutes before the match is set to kick off,  coaches and players from each team will come together to read motivational statements based on the theme of the match through a microphone to the match's spectators, just as you see captains from teams reading anti-racism statements before English Premier League and international FIFA matches these days. Afterwards, two halves of football will be played, and once the match is over coaches will have a brief post-game discussion with each of their teams to connect their performances on the field to the educational theme of that day's match. In the end, there will be a championship match and all sorts of soccer equipment given out as awards thanks to all the donations we have received back home in the USA.

Before the league kicks off, throughout the month of June, I and others from the CFDP management team will be hosting weekly training sessions around Kumba for coaches with teams participating in our league so that we can familiarize them with both our organization's curriculum, as well as the unique procedures that will comprise each match. This is a really exciting time for all of us at CFDP. Everyone in Kumba loves football, but this league is going to be unlike anything they have ever seen before.

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