Special audiences

On October 23rd 2016, a Fun Football Festival took place at the stadium in Phu Vang district. It was a sunny, autumn day in October where I saw many viewers paying attention in watching football matches. And luckily, I had a chance to talk and listen to their interesting stories.


Like other people, I walked along the line of pitches and watched children playing football. Although it was very hot, everybody was attracted to the ball. I had a talk with a grandmother standing next to me. Her name is Nguyen Thi Lien, 80 years old. She came to see her nephew play football. During our conversation, I could feel that she was very happy and proud of him when she saw her nephew chase after the ball. She shared: “In the past, we lacked conditions to play football and develop physique. Now, our children are very lucky because useful playgrounds are created by the organization for them.”

Her nephew is 10 years old and used to be a timid kid. Thanks to football activities at the club, he has changed a lot, becoming more active and dynamic. She and his parents are very happy and feel grateful for activities, which make positive changes for their child, their nephew. “For me, at my age, I am pleased to see my children live happily and develop in a healthy environment”, Mrs. Lien shared.


Mrs. Nguyen Thi Lien came to see her nephew play football

Through football matches and life skills activities, she realized that it was a wonderful chance for her nephew and other children to develop, make new friends and improve skills. Children were cared for and provided with good food and drinks, which made her feel very relieved.  She happily smiled and said that she would ask her daughter in –law to drive her to this Fun Football Festival again if it could take place next year.

After lunchtime and musical performances by the children, I walked around the pitches. This time, after the beginning of the very first matches in the afternoon, I saw a married couple walking into the stadium. I came and talked to them. The conversation started slow and in shy manner at first but then we talked freely. She introduced herself as Na, 34 years old. Because their children wanted their parents to see them playing football, she closed her store and came to the Fun Football Festival with her husband.

When the whistle was blown, the son recognized his mother ran quickly to her. He happily said that he and his teammate scored the goal. Under the sun, I could see the pride in her eyes. She was also emotional because her son’s skin turned red and sweaty. When I asked she felt about the Fun Football Festival, she said: “We live in poor areas, cannot have the same conditions as in the city. Recently, thanks to these kinds of activities, my children have chances to play and take part in useful activities”. Interestingly, this was the second time she came to the festival and cheered her son.


Children dance at the lifeskills corner

Throughout the short conservations with women I met today, I realize that the Fun Football Festival connects and inspires the community effectively, making impressions and positive impacts for parents. I am very proud of my volunteer work which brings me more wonderful memories in my life.

Nguyen Phuoc Bao Nguyen

Translated by Do Nhu Hong