It's here with us, and first of its own kind, U12 Communities Football Challenge scheduled to kick start on 16th September 2017 and to end on 22nd October 2017. It's going to be mega, supper and blast as young children of 12 years and below will start a lifetime journey of becoming football legends. It is going to be the biggest ever in the history of unearthing football talents among young children and orphans here in Ghana.
The U12 Communities Football Challenge was launched on 29th August 2017 at Coleman's House in East Catoments with a huge media presence. The occasion was graced with personalities from the football world in Ghana coupled with sports journalists and other dignitaries from the corporate world. The launching also saw the unveiling of Anthony Obodai as the ambassador for the this project which will last for 6 weekends.
The ambassador for the project, Anthony Obodai who has had sterling career exploits with top flight European Football Clubs like Ajax Amsterdam amang others bemoaned the state of youth football in Ghana currently and blamed it on the fact that communities based football is almost extinct now. The academy style of grooming young footballers is often too expensive for the parents of some of these poor children who actually have the talents but cannot get access the football academies due to financial constraints. Against this backdrop, he was extremely happy that once again the community based football is coming back by kind courtesy of Centa 14 Talents Management Consult, Papas Marketing Consult and Ngenta Football Accademy.
He was particularly elated about the involvement of orphans which to him is very "unusual" but heartwarming to change the destinies of this young children from once a gloomy future to a brighter one. It is a step in the right direction to integrate these orphans into society just like every normal child and commended the organisers for such giant steps taken to alleviate the plight of these orphans. He expressed the hopes that this football challenge will go a long way to create legendary footballers in Ghana especially and Africa as whole in the very near future.
It's a maiden edition of the Communities Football Challenge under the theme KICK, LEARN and CLEAR. It's a treble benefits braced in one project as the children will embark on massive clean up exercises to clean up their own environments, kick the football and have fun with it and also be given a formal education. Aside the clean up exercises, it's also a combination of football and formal education which many great footballers particularly the African ones often miss out. The idea is also to inculcate the culture of cleanliness in these children and make them environmentally responsive and responsible.
It's a yearly football prospecting challenge that will sweep across 5 communities namely Osu, La, Teshie, Ga Mashie and Nungua with over 1300 children who are consumed by the passion for football. It's a sporting event which seeks to bring football back into our communities once again starting in Accra and later to other parts of the country as time goes on. It's going to revive community based football which is originally African and after which the identified talents are picked and polished at the academy with formal education through scholarships.
For the first time orphans in children homes across Accra will be made to exhibit their football talents on open stage. To be an orphan is not by choice but fate. It can befall any child since no one wishes his or her parents to be dead at the tender age but unfortunately death is just inevitable. To lose one's parents can be very devastating and disastrous and so the Communities Football Challenge is here to help in many ways.
With the kind of societies we find ourselves in these days, people do not really care about the plight of these orphans particularly those in children homes or in the orphanages. We occasionally hear that some individuals and corporate entities go and donate items and foodstuffs to them but the question is how long can these organisations and individuals donate to these orphans? Just like the Chinese proverb affirms it, we should rather teach these orphans to fish rather than fishing for them all the time. We should make them self reliable instead of relying on us.
To grow up as an orphan can be one of the painful experiences children go through coupled with griefs and long periods of mourning that one would have to endure for the rest of his or her life. In these times orphans engage in a lot of criminal activities to survive and with time, these young ones who are only seeking for means of survival graduate from petty stealing to hardened criminals. These children eventually end up becoming armed robbers particularly the male ones and the female ones turn to prostitution among other vices. It is in line with this that Centa 14 Talents Management Consult , Papas Marketing Consult and Ngenta Football Accademy have teamed up to light the flames of communities football challenge with focus on orphans in the various children homes through community based football with great hopes of changing their lives.
It's time for the corporate entities and individuals who have the welfare these orphans at heart to join hands with Papas Marketing Consult, Centa 14 Talents and Management Consult and Ngenta Accademy to create footballers among these teeming orphans who are increasingly becoming a societal burden due to lack of parental care.
It is time to fuse these orphans into society and we are doing it through football and therefore must be supported by well meaning Ghanaians. When orphans are nurtured to become footballers, they will give their all to society which was there for them when no other was there for them. They will always remember how they were taken from their difficult conditions as hopeless children and moulded to become footballers. The grateful ones will give back to society just as society gave to them when they were in dire needs.
It's time to kick with the orphans, learn with the orphans and clear with the orphans, and we are making it possible through U12 Community Football Challenge under the auspices of Papas Marketing, Centa 14 and Ngenta Football Accademy. Join us to create footballers in our orphans and other young children for it is a worthy cause sacrificing the last penny for.
U 12 Community Football Challenge, it is indeed the hope for the footballing orphans.
Let's support it ! We stand with the orphans in these times.
Paa Kwesi Asamoah