FFAV Cup 2016 – Simple joys

Girls and boys alike, colourful football clothes, green Milo caps, neatly tied shoes on their feet and proud smiles on their faces; the children shone brighter than the summer sun in central Vietnam. 

After a year of anticipation and preparation, FFAV Cup 2016 is finally here. This is the first FFAV Cup to be celebrated in FFAV’s project hand-over period.

The kick-off of the Cup this year has seen 518 matches of fair play, friendly matches for all children just in a single morning, as well as many life skills activities and games.This year, the event chose to emphasise gender equality, that “boys and girls are equal — in football and in life.” But like any year, the little girls never fail to show their strengths and skills on the pitch.

A girl from Quang Tho primary school sat down beside me. She had just finished her match. Her curly hair was tied back into a sporty ponytail, her skin tanned; sweat rolled down her forehead and the side of her cheeks as she took off her socks and shoes, still happily talking with her teammate.

“Are you tired?” I asked

“Yep!”

“Are you having fun?”

“Yes! I like football!”

She doesn’t talk much, but her smile was so wide it showed her teeth. She was just one of so many little Vietnamese girls who enjoy this sport.

While footballs were rolling on the pitches, all around, children took part in dances and games that teach them life skills. Many of them took pleasure in colouring in pictures with messages about protecting the environment, traffic safety, etc. Some children decided to draw out whatever beautiful world they had inside their innocent minds.

 

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Walking around the Sports Center, I happened to run into the principal of Huong Toan primary school, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Lua. He was taking photos for his group of pupils. To my surprise, these children had different coloured football clothing from the rest of the kids.

“I got to know a company called Quang Thong,” Mr. Nguyen Xuan Lua explained. “They decided to sponsor football shirts for the children.”

Mr. Lua further continued explaining to me about the school’s strategy in fundraising to maintain such activities for the children at school as FFAV approaches its project hand-over phase. To him, creating this opportunity for his students is his joy. With enthusiasm like Mr. Lua’s, sustainability of FFAV’s football clubs sounds promising.

The FFAV Cup this year is once again rolling, bringing happiness to the children around Thua Thien – Hue province as well as some neighbouring provinces. Despite the many changes in the organisation of the big event as the project is handed over to local authorities, the FFAV Cup 2016 still guarantees a peaceful yet energetic environment for the children to play and learn.

Le Phuoc Thuc Nhi

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