Sport
 Cameroon
Project #17640

Launch a Youth Soccer League in Cameroon

by Cameroon Football Development Program
Vetted
Soccer brings smiles!
Soccer brings smiles!

Time flies when you are having fun! I can’t believe it has been 4 months since the Super Cup.What began with a weekend of soccer in August has turned into a movement in Cameroon, impacting youth and communities far beyond our initial expectation. Thank you so much for your generous support! It seems like only yesterday that we gathered 50+ young players and coaches from across the Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameron in the regional capital city of Bamenda for a thrilling soccer competition and leadership workshop. Since then, a lot has happened.

While we were gearing up for back-to-school and fall soccer seasons here in the U.S., our Super Cup players were activating their teammates to create positive change back home. Players, coaches and teams from Kumba, Mamfe, Bamenda, Ndu, and Ndom organized community service activities ranging from soccer matches for local orphans to neighborhood cleanup projects and even road repairs

“The theme of teamwork and community service inspired me at the Super Cup in Bamenda. My team and I will clean our environment, especially the football field, and organize friendly matches with young people in the local orphanage.”

-          Babila, Age 13

With some teams engaged in monthly service projects, we are optimistic this momentum will continue in 2016.

With the New Year in mind, I am excited to share more good news with you. For a second year in a row, FIFA Football for Hope will support our innovative educational soccer leagues in Cameroon in 2016-2017 with a grant in the amount of $60,000! While we look forward to making an announcement to the general public very soon, I wanted to make sure you were among the first to know. This will help propel us forward with another exciting year of innovative sport-based programs and community development initiatives.

From all of us on the CameroonFDP team, thank you and best wishes for a joyous holiday season!

Sincere regards,

Justin

Brescia FC doing a School Clean up
Brescia FC doing a School Clean up
Youth placing stones in the road to improve access
Youth placing stones in the road to improve access
Babila (Center) with teammates
Babila (Center) with teammates

The first group of players and coaches arrived in the parking lot at the Blue Pearl Hotel at Mile 4 - Nkwen on the morning of Thursday, August 6th. The coach and team, which consisted of five  players selected to represent their club, Brescia F.C. and the whole city of Kumba, made the journey via public transportation without any troubles, aside from a bumpy ride and police control points which forced occupants off the bus for identification checks. “Bamenda by Night”, as the locals call it, is an overnight bus ride taking more than 10 hours to travel 400 kilometers on both paved and unpaved roads through the Cameroonian jungle of the Southwest and into the grasslands of the Northwest Region. The weary travelers had only enough energy for a breakfast of tea and bread before they retired to their hotel rooms for some rest. They had finally arrived in Bamenda, the host city of the 2015 Super Cup to Develop Young Leaders.

The morning of Friday, August 7th began bright and early with the crow of the rooster and the rising sun. After a light breakfast, everyone headed to the field. Co-founders Peter Ngwane [Cameroon] and Justin Forzano [Pittsburgh] were on site to give a great welcome and words of encouragement to all of the participants, who were reminded that this event was a great achievement and represented the next level of sport for development in Cameroon.

With the group stage came a downpour of rain. Despite the muddy playing grounds, four teams emerged to enter the semi finals and finally the two clubs involved with CameroonFDP the longest, Brescia F.C. (Kumba) and Shalom Future Stars Academy, emerged victorious to meet in the finals.

Both teams stood in line in front of the honorable delegation from the Northwest Region who gathered under the canopy to watch the final match. This was their opportunity to showcase what they had learned from their coaches earlier about the theme of the Super Cup. Spectators listened as players read ‘motivational statements’ about the importance of being a good role model; how community service can improve a neighborhood; and how as footballers specially selected to participate in this event, they are leaders. Many in the audience listened and reflected on the meaning of the Super Cup. It was clear to all that this was about more than the game.


Want to find out who won the cup and what happens next? Check out the full story on our website

St. Peters FC, a new football club to join CFDP
St. Peters FC, a new football club to join CFDP

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.

Kumba Legends FC standing proud
Kumba Legends FC standing proud
Kumba Coaches Spotlight: Basil Forgu Forteck
Kumba Coaches Spotlight: Basil Forgu Forteck

Links:

Coaches Receive One World Futbols After Training
Coaches Receive One World Futbols After Training

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?"

Youth Learn from one of the Coaches in Training
Youth Learn from one of the Coaches in Training
Coaches Combine Life Skills Education with Soccer
Coaches Combine Life Skills Education with Soccer
CFDP Management Team Makes It All Possible
CFDP Management Team Makes It All Possible

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Cameroon Football Development Program

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.cameroonfdp.org
Project Leader:
Justin Forzano
CEO
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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