There was a lot of action around the sports field of SOS Children's Village Bakoteh on 23 May 2007 in the afternoon! SOS mothers and little ones were getting comfortable in their seats around the field to enjoy the games to be played, while older children and youths were getting ready to show off their special talents with the famous round ball.
A delegation of 29 coach trainees from the Gambia Football Association (GFA) led by Mr Detlev Bruedgeman, a FIFA technical instructor, was expected...
As little ones saw the 'strangers' arriving, they ran to greet them with hugs and smiles. Some were even lucky enough to receive a red hibiscus flower, freshly picked from one of the village's bushes! Very soon, each football coach was carrying a little one and holding passionate conversations.
After a short football training session in smaller groups, the games could start. The SOS youth team played the opening match against the coaches' team. Certainly not easy! Nevertheless, they did well in dribbling the ball and even won by scoring two to one! They definitely had the advantage of playing at home! Several short games followed with all the other children, under the watchful eyes of the special delegation. Who knows, tomorrow's football star may be from SOS Children's Village Bakoteh!
However, it's quite a challenge to play by the rules in SOS Children's Village Bakoteh. After a while, little ones couldn't stand sitting any longer and started running around, sometimes even across the football field. Some even decided to sit right in the middle of the field to play, while a match was being played. And they were not the only ones 'disturbing' the games! Mothers were also interrupting by dancing on the field and clapping as soon as one of their children scored! With more than 100 children and SOS mothers, the village fan club was indeed quite a big one!
As one of the coaches said, "It's always a great experience to come to the SOS Children's Village and spend time with the children!" It's indeed hard to say who enjoyed it most. Looking at their smiling faces, one could really see that 15-year-old Pullo and Awa had great fun! For them, football is a passion and they are both members of the girls' team at SOS Hermann Gmeiner School Bakoteh.
After two hours of fun, the delegation headed back to their bus, throwing kisses and waving goodbye. It's really not so easy to leave these adorable children, said one of the coaches. "In just two hours, we get so attached. And they are just so loving!"
For sure! "But please leave the children here... and come back anytime!" said one of the co-workers. And the FIFA and GFA bus left with its 30 smiling trainers, leaving the children with yet another memorable experience...