Kendrick Import’s Weblog
another weblog from Kendrick Imports

The Football Match

5th August 2008

Last month we attended The Sedgeberrow First School auction of promises. Pete bid for and won a football strip of 14 shirts and shorts!! Today we met with the 2 of the 3 coaches of the local football team in Sand River, the local “African” village. The three coaches have a squad of 27 young lads ageing from 18 – 21 years. The aim of the coaches is to give the youngsters a focus and spirit that will keep them away from trouble, violence and crime. The team is called “The Blue Bird Young Stars” and is trained by Joseph, Sipho and Nelson. The football craze is hotting up all the time in South Africa with the World Cup being hosted here in 2010.

We spent an hour chatting to the coaches, and found out that the team only has one ball. They need balls, cones, whistles, pumps, training shirts, socks and boots!! None of the coaches were complaining, but they obviously were battling against the odds.

They are a really keen bunch and obviously enjoy their football. We got the feeling that they were really trying to help themselves. The coaches said that there would be such excitement next weekend when they got out the new kit.

The photo is Nelson and Joseph receiving the kit from Pete. The team will be playing a game next weekend in the new kit, and we will be there to cheer them on!!

Pete Kendrick giving the team their new kits

Pete Kendrick giving the team their new kits

10th August 2008 12 Noon.

We were invited to the Football Pitch, Sandriver, Near Hazyview, Mpumalanga, South Africa. This is a large community of African people who live close to our farm. The football shirts we handed over to the coaches of the football team last week were to be worn for the first time!

We were met at the outskirts of the town by two of the coaches Joseph and Sipho. Nelson (the main coach) was already with the boys preparing for the game. As we arrived we could see that the team wearing the shirts were younger than we had anticipated, probably between 14 and 17. It transpired that the strip would be used for both the Junior and Senior Blue Bird Young Stars! We were about to watch the Junior Team.

As we arrived there was a great atmosphere with the Junior team playing as a build up to an afternoon of football with a senior match to follow. The atmosphere was that of a party with music playing at the local shop / club nearby. People were walking past us with loaves of bread and something wrapped in newspaper from the shop. When I asked what they were buying all wrapped up I was told “chips”!

The team looked great in the new strip and were obviously very chuffed to have it. Most of the team played in bare feet as they didn’t have football boots – there must be hundreds of pairs in the UK kicking about (excuse the pun), and I think we should try to recycle some ….more about that later. The pitch was dusty and hard but the game was played with great heart and with a good level of talent. The children did not stop running, and as time was limited before the “big game”, they did not even stop for a drink at half time.

The ref. was fair and although the side-lines were non-existent to us, the ref and teams obviously knew where they were! The whistle was blown for several “off-sides” but never for fouls! The game was played in good spirit and enjoyed by both teams. At full time the score was 0-0. A penalty shoot out was organised.

Nelson picked 5 players to shoot. I thought he would pick the players with boots, but in fact the strikers were chosen on ability and it did not seem to correspond to owning football boots!

It was a tense penalty shoot-out, with great pressure on the goalies. One of the opposition strikers took off his boots before shooting. When I asked why I was told that he was more used to kicking in bare feet and did not want to risk kicking sand! At the end of the penalty shoot out it was still a draw and so the game went on to sudden death. After a great game the final score was 6 – 5 to the opposition, but the Blue Bird Young Stars held their heads up high and posed for a team photo in their new strip.

There are still items the team would love including a pump (their ball was flat!), more balls for training, training cones, socks, BOOTS and laces (some boys had boots but no laces). I am sure that there are lots of old boots that may be worn –out or just “grown out of” lying around doing nothing, and it would be great if the team could have the use of them…… I think with a bit of thought and will we can get each member of the team a pair of boots, and a few spares.

Football match 10th August 2008

Football match 10th August 2008

Nelson the Coach

Nelson the Coach

The team photo

The team photo

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