The idea behind SIFA was a small group of boys who we came across by the roadside playing with a ball they had skillfully crafted by wrapping pieces of nylon papers into rags and fastening the rags into a round shape using pieces of manila strings on our walk around our village, Sifucha.
The game was so fun that we became spectators without knowing it. We were amazed by the moves and dribbles by most of the junior players despite them being barefooted and with neither a trainer nor a playground.
This was however shortly before the government imposed a ban on the use of nylon papers in the country. The ban meant that the boys wouldn’t be able to make a new ball since the other was already torn and the materials that would make a new one were now illegal.
A few days later we had a case of some of the boys plucking young pumpkins and just kicking them around. The entire village was mad at these crop ‘destroyers’ .
When I talked to the boy he admitted it and said it was because they did not have a ball to play with. The boy asked me if I could get them a cheap plastic ball to play with since it was fun.
I did not give the kid a response but when he kept nagging and almost going on his knees I was moved but there was nothing I could do as such because, for one, the plastic ball was not as ‘cheap’ as it sounded and two, it was fragile enough to burst after a few kicks and they would be at my back again for new balls. When the kid was not going away I promised him to think about it.
But amazingly the next day he was at my doorstep together with his mates inquiring of my thoughts. They also wanted me to be their coach if I bought them the ball.
The determination of these kids really amazed me and I thought if we had such a portion of kids approach me for the ball then there must be some more that were afraid to speak up or just had no channels to communicate. I contacted my sons and we organized for the ball.
On that day it was fun again. But as I had known before, our fragile plastic ball was disappointing.
Once again we needed a new ball, though it could be played for the next about two games. Each day more kids kept coming and in no time we had a team of about 100 players of both genders which we divided into four teams under 10, under 14, under 16, and under 18. The field became smaller and more dangerous since it was by the roadside being used by motorists, so we needed a new and bigger playground.
Due to the increasing number of youngsters one ball would not be enough, more balls would be of help.
Once again I was onto my sons for these,
That was when the SIFA project was born, We took into account the boots, training kits, academy management and trainers, referees, balls, and a playground. Together with friends, we approached the Busibi primary and secondary schools management for playgrounds which they accepted but only if students were out of school.
This budget cannot be afforded by my family and that is why we are on the run looking for sponsors and donors like you.
Any donations towards the achievement of any of the above would be highly appreciated from financial to material support. Any support that is geared to growing these young talents is highly welcome.
When the SIFA idea was being crafted we thought it would only be of help to the six boys that we’re championing for the balls, little did we know that it would be a big project with a greater impact than we impacted.
The SIFA project is now nurturing the talents of about 100 footballers though we intend a bigger goal and diversify the sports to beyond football the kids are happy with the move and the society and the leadership is in support since the society allow the kids to the ground and the leadership occasionally organize for tournaments which we’ve been winning anyway. We also realized that we had individuals who are trained coaches and referees but were at home and had no platform to practice their skills.
At least they now have the ground to practice their profession. Since coaches are enrolled in the training of the juniors and referees authorize the games. Most importantly we have helped recognize great leadership skills from some of the local individuals who help us in the management of the academy. The juniors can also organize themselves and have training among themselves with minimal or no supervision, a move we are encouraging.
Our social Media Platforms
Twitter page: https://twitter.com/SifuchaFC
YouTube Profile: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJSfieCgF4Y5UzBC0fkl7dA
Sifucha Team Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/sifuchafootball
Sifa Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/sifuchafootballacademy
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