Written by Deborah Ball, the Homeless World Cup Foundation Director of International Development.
March 4th was D-Day in Chennai, the time when the 7 young people we had been working with took centre stage and delivered the first sessions of the #FootballFirst Coach Education Programme to 20 new coaches.
They did not have the luxury of a classroom to work in and while the billowing "walls" of the tent provided a welcome fan-like effect in the South Indian heat and humidity, it was a real challenge to keep hold of flying flipcharts and folders.
Andy, Scott and I were confident that they would do a good job, but all three of us had goosebumps at frequent intervals during the day.
To see the "Slum Soccer Seven" move seamlessly through the programme - delivering top quality sessions, coping with translation in three languages, dealing with the inevitable one or two “difficult” participants… all with endless encouragement and support to each other was truly remarkable. They also dealt with photographers and journalists throughout the day, giving interviews and posing for photos whenever required.
The team exceeded our expectations, but were positively critical of their own performance and discussed areas for improvement tomorrow, raising the bar themselves.
One of the participants remained behind to congratulate them on their skills and assured performance – pointing out that many CEO’s would struggle to deal with public speaking and presentation skills so successfully, a great boost to their confidence!
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