We learn to lead, we learn to be independent

It was a hot July afternoon in a tropical city like Hue, the sun burnt everything on the ground. I got out of home and went to Thua Thien Hue Football Federation at 2 Le Quy Don Street to watch the Youth Leadership Training participants doing their activities on the second day of their training.  This program was sponsored by UEFA Children Foundation. The training course started on July 4th and will last until July 8th 2017.

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When I got into the training room, I saw a bunch of young people playing happily and excitedly with balls and their friends. I watched them for a while then came to talk with Mrs. Nhi, the staff of FFAV. Nhi looked at them playing and smiled: “They are young leaders who were chosen from social centers and resettlement areas of province”. She was observing them and moving her eyes along the participants’ movements. She said: “Through this training, they will be equipped knowledge and skills to lead and support activities of FFAV clubs as well as other social activities since our organization (NFF/FFAV) started withdrawing its role and gradually transmitted mechanism and platform to relevant partners”.

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I asked Nhi for the training schedule. Then, Ngoc Linh – the intern of FFAV gave it to me. Linh had been working here for two years. As a person who used to volunteer in FFAV for a long time, I could see Linh’s passion for her job. Linh said: “The program is held in 5 days and it covers all the basic skills as a football club leader needs to have. Today is July 5th so it’s day for life skills”. I skimmed quickly the paper. Indeed, the participants learnt leadership skills in the first day (04/07), life skills in these two days (05 – 06/07), then coaching skills in the last two days (07 – 08/07). These are important skills that a football leader had to have, especially when they have to run the football clubs by themselves without financial and human supports from FFAV at the end of 2018.

Many life skills were taught by playing games. This helped the participants learn quickly. Participants learnt how to communicate others effectively. They also learnt how to observe as well as teamwork. Concentration is showed on all participants’ faces.

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I had a small friendly talk with Truong Le Hong Kha, a 17-year-old boy who came from Huong Tho club. I asked him how he felt about two last days, he replied: “I was nervous and shy at first. Everything was new to me. The environment was unfamiliar. However, things are better now. I am able to catch up with my fellows. They are friendly and willing to listen to each other during teamwork. I’ve learnt a lot”.

Shared the same thought with Kha, Tran Thi Thuy Linh, a 17-year-old girl said she felt very happy and lucky to be here since she had the chance to learn about leadership. This would make her feel so confident when she got back home to take responsibilities for her club in Vinh Hien, Phu Loc.

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I also talked to several participants then realized some of them used to be disadvantaged children. They were born and grown up in unfortunate living conditions. This training gave them the chance to step up and be up front. As a person who experienced tough childhood, they would have enough motivation to take care of the clubs because they deeply understood that these football activities would bring joy and happiness to other unfortunate children in their areas. Therefore, I strongly believe they would be the next bright generation of FFAV clubs and totally be able to take care of their clubs at the time the FFAV project fully withdraws its role.

Truong Viet Cuong

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