It's 2:00pm on Sunday and coaches and players start to arrive at GPS field, well before scheduled kick off time of 3:30pm. This is an amazing achievement in itself. If you are familiar with the concept of "African time", you know what we mean. The CFDP management team has been on site since early in the morning, arranging the canopy (tent), high table and chairs for distinguished guests, marking the field and hanging nets in the goals, situating the PA system and cranking the speakers so that the neighbors will know a great event is happening at the field today.
Soon, members of the surrounding community begin to arrive. Supporters of the two clubs playing in the opening match of Kumba's first U-14 league season. Then other community leaders, coaches, supporters and affiliates of CFDP. Finally, Chairman of the Kumba Board of Commissioners, Divisional Delegate of Ministry of Sports and Physical Education, with his entourage. Everything is set for the Opening Ceremony of the first-ever full season of the CFDP Community League and after a few welcome words from the Director of Operations, Diony Collins, pre-match activities begin.
CFDP football (soccer) matches are different. We transform the playing grounds into a place of learning - for both players and spectators. Before kick off, players will run warm-up drills/games based on educational football drills they learned from Coaches Across Continents training last June. The referee will "quiz" players on each team about what they have learned from their coach in training sessions leading up to the match. Players will read motivational statements to the crowd, reinfocring their role as young athletes in the community to be role models, create awareness and promote social change Finally, shaking hands between teams and promoting fairplay throughout the game concretizes the values of CFDP: this game is about more than winning.
The theme for this first season is GENDER EQUITY. Every match will highlight a different component of this crucial social issue, and Sunday's opening game was no different. The league will run from February through May, thanks to a new grant from FIFA Football for Hope and the generous support of people like you!
As for the outcome of the opening game between Kumba Lakers FC and St. Peters FC, it was a draw 1-1. But one team will go ahead in the table because of their adherence to CFDP values and our new points system. The next set of matches are set for this upcoming Saturday and Sunday.
None of this is possible without your support. We want to first THANK YOU IMMENSELY for supporting our activities in Cameroon and second invite you to follow along on our blog, social media, and website. Stay connected and see what kind of IMPACT YOU CAN CREATE.
A new era in CFDP has begun. Our Kumba team, lead by Collins and Wallace, is fresh from four weeks of running coaches clinics around the Southwest and Northwest Regions. Streamlining the learning objectives and experience for coaches in our partner schools and communities allows for a more precise and comprehensive approach to our leadership development.We welcomed more than 20 new coaches to the CFDP family this month, who joined about 10 others with 1+ years experience. They are all excited to get started with soccer practices in the coming weeks. Each one has their eye on the holiday competitions we are planning in Kumba, Mamfe, and Ndu in December where the league takes a new dimension with enrichment-based competitions. Coaches are sharing Plus Seven values with their players in the training sessions leading up to the Games in December.
In addition, 500 soccer balls were donated by the One World Futbol project to support this expansion!
Over the next eight months, we will measure the progress of our coaches... Their development will not be measured in the number of wins for their team, but really by the connections they build with their players and the unity of the team. Our referees will also slip in the occasional "quiz-like" question before each of the games -
"What are you learning from your coach and teammates? How can this help you in your future?"
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