by Macharia Muigai
Submitted on 2012/03/24 at 5:48 am
I fully agree with Tola’s observation. However a few greedy people should not be reason to mudsling all wonderful effort by genuine investors in youth soccer development.
All we need in Africa is structured system where no one, pink, white or black is allowed to dupe the unsuspecting sometimes illiterate parents who have a genuine hunger to pull themselves out of a cycle of want.
I believe soccer and education and any other talent for that matter ought to be developed simultaneously and not wait to see the result of your child’s academic exam,say fail, before thinking of his/her talent!
Milele High School and Gallant soccer Academy in Kenya (www.gallantsocceracademy.com) where I am the Founder/Director is committed to that dream that we are endowed differently. We cannot demand say, a law degree, from youth players before they are permitted to pursue their soccer dreams. We will be wrong because it would be too late.
Take an example of a high potential soccer talent whose best academic score never sees light beyond D-. What option does a parent have?
Having said that, education is irreplaceable but the same effort must be emphasised to the child’s own potential and not in comparison with other well endowed academically.
Submitted on 2012/03/24 at 7:38 am | In reply to Macharia muigai.
Dear Mr. Mugai,
Thanks for your comments.
In the general tradition of East African sports administration, especially your country, Kenya, I’m sure you are doing a wonderful work at your Academy.
My essay did not tar all academies or all those trying to get our boys a share of the big pie of soccer business in Europe but mainly was a cautionary piece. Here is an excerpt from that essay:
“There are all sorts of soccer academies all over Africa today but most of the ones featured in a television program I watched on Current TV seem to me to be run mostly by people not that interested in the boys’ development. Although we cannot expect somebody to spend his money to set up an academy as a charity venture, there is Tom Brennan, a white coach – I think he’s American – in Ghana who set up the ‘Right to Dream Academy’, a free boarding school where boys actually receive secondary education as well as football coaching. Brennan keeps his boys’ spirits up through the nourishing environment which should keep their hopes fairly realistic. A few of the boys get scholarships. A few will make it to the top leagues and those who do not still have their basic education to fall and improve on.”
For readers who might have missed the August 11, 2011 essay, here’s the link:
As an avid lover of sports of many kinds, it gladdens my heart that there are genuine lovers of soccer who are willing and able to invest in the development of our youth.
Sincere regards, and good luck to Gallant Soccer Academy.
FROM Gallant Academy’s website: http://gallantsocceracademy.com/
Gallant Soccer Academy was established in the year 2009 as a youth center in Naivaisha aimed at growing and nurturing young talents in various sports but mainly concentrating on football. Gallant Soccer Academy project was started as a subsidiary of Milele High School after the proprietors realized the need to start a programme that would identify young talents with a simple concept aimed at solidifying the foundations of the football in Kenya by providing the young and youthful with an early, expert and fun introduction to the beautiful game of football.