Kumba Arsenal F.C. from Fiango in Kumba
In February, we kicked off our youth league for 6 six clubs from across the town of Kumba. Some of the clubs have been long time partners, like Brescia F.C. who have taken the cup in a 2013 tournament, while some are newly formed, like St. Peter's F.C., which was started by a coach who completed CFDP's coaches training sessions earlier this year and was inspired to build something to invest in the youth in his neighborhood. The ages of the youth playing in this competition range from 11 to 14. We wanted to build the foundaiton of a comprehensive youth soccer league which promotes life skills, leadership, and health education to the community through organized competitions, radio programs, leadership workshops, and service-learning. What started as educational after school programs and U-16 tournaments during the summer holidays has transformed into an integrated learning experience for players, coaches, and members of the community.
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, reinforcing 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 fair play 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 recent grant from FIFA Football for Hope and the generous support from people like you.
Last week we were in Mamfe to run a second clinic for coaches who continue to support our innovative model for youth development through sport. Our third site in Ndu will see an Easter tournament before summer holidays take place. Our Peace Corps Volunteer has worked in Ndom, another community in the Southwest Region, over the last several months to galvanize the interest of several chiefs of local villages in the region to mobilize their youth and help set up the infrastructure for a youth league to enhance the social infrastructure within the community. We will run some coaches clinics for new community partners later in March.
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.
Kumba Legend FC- one of the newest teams to join
Kumba Lakers Coach, Mr. Basil