I am now the soccer coach for the year 5 and 6 girls at my school. Practice started last Monday and we practiced every day after schiool for 2 hours. Then Thursday, we loaded up a bus with 125 excited children and headed to our first game.
The other teams of our district arrived one by one, and by noon there were 6 schools, about 700 children, sitting and singing in the main hall, pumping themselves up for the game. Teachers were standing around the perimeter with sticks to keep any rowdy children in line, but thankfully they were rarely used. As I listened to the singing children, it dawned on me: while every school was singing in Samoan, my children were singing all their songs in English! We ran through the English Day program, to the pride of my staff and the envy of all the others. It was a really awesome moment.
Then the games began and my girls were up first. I have a lot of pride when I say that of all the games played that day, we were the only team to score a goal during actual game time. We ended up winning 2-0, and although I am not that win-obsessed, it felt great to have my team win their first game. I am a new coach and they are new players. We have a long ways to go, but come the end of May, I am hoping we qualify for finals, and maybe, just maybe, we will be the juior champions of Samoa! Two months till the final tourdement. It’s anyones game at this point, but I know, we want it bad!