Football Gets its Critical Mass in Southeast Asia
The giant has awoken. After years of simmering on the back burner behind local traditional sports, youth football in Southeast Asia has exploded.
Every little commune has its team struggling on impossible pitches whose only commonality is that they have been cleared of mines but be warned the intensity of these kids, wih the images of premier league and Spanish league heroes posted all around them as inspiration is a forecast of their performance when their diet catches up to their love of the game.
Here's a tiny example of what I'm talking about. In Takeo, a province close to Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital city, 22 Grade 10 and 11 boys immediately joined a team organized by the Daughters of Charity and in torrential rains and mind numbing sun, you'll find them out on their pitch trying to master basic skills. The commitment is manifest.
After several weeks of letting their feet become friends with the ball, they had their first match. Thy were magnificent...well, okay, maybe they just played hard but they got the taste of a win and like any good hunter, they're waiting for the next kill. Bring them on. We're No. 1.
Today, Takeo. Tomorrow, the World.
The girls were intended to be spectators cheering on tomorrow's Messi and Ronaldo but the triumph of women's football teams at the World Cup level has changed that.
As they watch the boys play, the girls want a piece of the action and they want it now but without just a little bit of money they can't even get a ball and the boys are burning through the footballs the DC provided faster than monkeys in a peanut factory.
The boys contribute $5 for their uniform and the grils will be able to do the same but with average family income less than $5 a day that's as much as they can do.
They need sponsors and this is a chance to be part of one of the few flows of energy that is actually bringing the world a little closer together as hatred and violence seem determined to drive us apart.
Interested to know a bit of Takeo? Click these links:
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