Confident to follow the passion

Developing grassroots football with support from the community, especially support from parents is the main target of FFAV at this time. FFAV drew a very strong volunteer force by organizing many meaningful activities for students, holding a lot of capacity building training courses, as well as creating a friendly and attached environment between parents and teachers.

The beginning

Mr. Tran Van Tiet, father of student Tran Thi To is one of many parents in Nam Dong highland. He is a farmer who goes to the field every day in order to earn money to support his family. However, anytime Huong Huu club needs volunteers for coaching, refereeing or helping with the preparation, he always arranges his time to come. Meeting him and Mr. Tran Van Vac, another volunteer, dressing simply at their daily basis in a regular training session of Huong Huu primary school, we saw them playing hard with the students on the pitch. The muddy and slippery playground did not seem to stop them from learning new skills with the ball and having fun.

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Students helping teachers in the training session

He knew about the club activities from his daughter stories. After being approached a few times by the teachers in the football club’s board, he officially became a member in the volunteer group. Mr. Tiet now plays an important role in the club’s activities as a passionate volunteer. He shared with us: “My house is just 1 km away from my daughter’s school so the distance is definitely not the problem. Whenever the club need a volunteer, I am always willing to help. Even though today and tomorrow my family have some business, I tried to arrange my time in order to come here and practice with the children.” Mr. Tien wholeheartedly support his daughter to play football in the club with her friends. He told us, “I myself have a great interest in football so I am very supportive for her in joining the group. She is also very good at chess. She has recently been awarded a prize at provincial level. However, if a football practice and chess practice session happen on the same day, she always choose football over chess.”

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Mr. Tiet introducing new football skills 

The effects

Thanks to football, Nguyen Thi To, a 4th grade student at Huong Huu primary school, has become bolder and more confident in communicating and socializing with her friends. Having a little talk with me, with a bit of shyness opposite the image of a dynamic girl playing football on the pitch with friends, she shared with us: “I like both football and chess. However, when I play football, there are more fun things to do and share with friends on the pitch. My father always encourages me to play and learn more. I feel very happy.”

With the positive impacts of playing football, To also became a serious student. If she has unfinished homework due to playing football, she will get up early at 4 or even 3 a.m. to finish her assignments before going to school.

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Mr. Vac, another volunteer, also guiding the students excitedly

Mr. Tiet, through the regular training sessions and the preparation for football events also became close to the teachers at the school. For him, this is a  benefit because he has a chance to get to know and to participate in his daughter’s activities at school. The father-daughter relationship has also become tighter. He can practice football, play chess and share everything with his daughter comfortably.

Suffice to say, the cooperation between school and parents has brought about positive movements for both sides. Hopefully this relationship will continue to grow in the future so that children can learn, play and have fun with friends in a safe playground through football.

Le Thi Hue

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