Thursday, October 16, 2014


By the time Big A and I were ten, we were seriously into competitive sport. He trained with, and swam for, the Philippine national team for about a decade, while I was on my way to a performing arts boarding school with the end goal of dancing professional ballet.

Little A, at 7, has not yet joined a proper sport workshop, though he does swim far better than other kids his age, an amazing feat for a self-taught child.

Still, team sports are something we want him to experience, and the perfect opportunity came up when a local football teaching club recently set up a set of sessions specifically for the kids at Little A's school.

Before starting classes, the football club spent two full days at school getting to know each of the interested students, and testing their skills with the help of the school nurse/PE teacher and Occupational Therapist. This was done during school hours and I received no feedback on Little A's trial, so when I signed him up for the classes I had no idea what to expect.

Football sessions are held at a covered basketball court near the school, and thankfully near our home as well. We were late for the first one, but only by a few minutes, so I rushed Little A into the middle of the group, but he didn't want to let go of my hand as it was a new environment and a new group of "teachers".

While the drills were nothing he would have difficulty with, I worried about his social integration skills. Thankfully, a friendly coach and the school OT took him in hand midway through, and he joined in the rest of the drills without much complaint.

Lesson one went well, and I was particularly impressed with the coaches, who knew the name of every child upon arrival and both engaged the kids and kept their attention and focus amazingly well for the entire hour.

Team Sport
At the end of Lesson One, I was given a uniform for Little A to don in future sessions. Come the second lesson, he looked almost a proper little footballer, save the socks and shoes which I have not yet purchased, bad mother that I am.

Lesson Two went better than the first, because most of the children knew what to expect and were generally going with the flow. We look forward to seeing their progress in the next couple of months.

While it may just be a pipe dream for most of us that any of our children will turn into the next David Beckham, I think everyone involved is pleased and proud at how children generally perceived to be in their own little worlds willingly come together and develop new skills. I hope things only get better and more fun for them. 

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