It is now 19 years since I played in the Norway cup in Norway with the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA). Every year MYSA teams travel to Norway for the biggest youth football and exchange program.
As a beneficiary of the program I’m very proud to come back to the mother organization that opened many avenues for my journey both in football and education. About Norway Cup Norway Cup is the world’s largest football tournament for children and young people aged 10 to 19 years old, with 3v3 soccer for players 6-10 years old played the last weekend of the tournament. In 2016 we reached an all time high with 2199 teams participating in Norway Cup.
Around 6000 games were played over the course of the tournament in 2016. Norway Cup is organized by Bækkelagets Sportklub and it all started in 1972 with 420 teams and 8,400 participants. Source https://norwaycup.no/en/about-norway-cup/ On 18th July 2018 a team of young, talented football stars will represent MYSA / Kenya at the prestigious international tournament in Norway and later they will tour the Netherlands for football clinics and friendly matches. I was honored to be given the opportunity by the MYSA management to conduct a motivational / education session that would prepare the youth on the life changing experience oversees as an alumni of MYSA having travelled as the team captain in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Key highlight of the Session; (Football + Education + Employability)
- How to handle peer pressure.
- Expectations (Life before, during and after Norway).
- Personal branding 4. Group discussions and presentation
- Personal journey of alumni 6. Social, economical issues (The people, the culture, food, lifestyle etc)
The Gap: Many of the young football players lack mentors to help them through understanding life during football and life after football whereby combing education and employ-ability skills while they pursue their football talents. As a result a big number have-not been able to achieve their dream careers either because of peer pressure, adequate resource, criminal gangs, drug abuse etc.
The session was conducted under our Skill Up program hosted by Wilsen Initiative (Wi). We train youth on the 21st century skills that would eventually help build a positive brand, choose career pathways and also give back to their community. We advocate for long life learning and quality education, footballer are no exceptions, everyone needs to continue learning to improve their lives and tackle emerging challenges.