Messi or Ronaldo!?
The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Nablus, was that you either support Real Madrid or Barcelona. The affiliation with one of these two clubs is tremendous, with Real Madrid and Barcelona flags painted around the city along with ‘Messi’ and ‘Ronaldo’ graffiti all over town. This world-wide debate as to who is better has spread to this small Middle Eastern city. The recommencement of the European Champions League coincided with TYO’s soccer classes for the local boys and girls and personally, this is what I was most excited for! While Van Persie is facing off against Ronaldo we have this bunch of lovely boys and girls, beaming with enthusiasm, dying to show off their skills.
As a child, all I wanted to do was grab my ball and go to the park to kick it about with my mates, yet the kids in Nablus are unable to do this as there is a lack of parks, green spaces, or any sort of safe places for children to play in. You often see them playing in the very narrow streets strewn with debris, heavy traffic and parked cars which pose a very real danger to the safety of the children. These kids are deprived of a fundamental necessity for a child. However TYO strives to provide these kids with a safe and secure environment where the child is in good hands and can enjoy and express themselves to the fullest.
Soccer classes have been running for about two weeks now and the main focus of our classes is to build and improve confidence, self esteem, teamwork, and respect for each other through soccer. Soccer is a universally loved sport that has the influence to teach these kids many life skills which they can cultivate to become strong members of society. However soccer isn’t just about learning these skills, it’s also about having fun (which the kids have been having a lot of). They arrive early to class and can’t wait to get started, we have been doing a lot of great team building exercises and different soccer drills to improve their teamwork and game. We've been getting these kids ready for the league that should be starting soon and of course, team TYO is going to win!
Danish is a Spring 2013 intern in Nablus.