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SPORTS

7 BENEFITS OF FOOTBALL TO KIDS

1. Kids Soccer Helps with Fitness & Health

Soccer involves a lot of movement – even for the goalkeeper! All the exercise will help kids stay fit and healthy by improving cardiovascular health, coordination, strength and flexibility.


2. Kids Soccer is Great Fun

Kids need to be entertained and kept busy, or they will get bored very quickly.

Good thing soccer is such a fun activity! Plus, because it involves exercise, it fosters a positive mental association with staying healthy – and healthy habits learned early last longer!


3. Soccer is a Team Sport

Even though individual skills are important when playing soccer, it’s also necessary to play as a team. Teamwork is one of the most beneficial life skills children need to learn, as it provides a positive impact on family, school, and eventually work.

However, being part of a team isn’t just about learning how to work together and share talents. It’s also about teaching kids leadership and how to lose gracefully.

It doesn’t end there, either. Being part of a team teaches kids how to take responsibility. After all, if one player is slacking off, the rest of the team suffers for it. This teaches another valuable life lesson: how to develop a healthy work ethic.


4. Motor Skills

With TV, video games and smartphones making it easier for kids to become couch potatoes, they can lose out on valuable motor skills. Plus, as they get older, they’ll be spending more time hitting the books to prepare for tests and exams.

By playing youth soccer, kids get a chance to develop their physical strength and motor skills in advance.


5. Kids Soccer Improves Mood & Self-Esteem

The World Health Organization recommends kids get at least 60 minutes of exercise daily. This isn’t just for the physical benefits – exercise is known to improve mood and self-esteem.

Playing a team sport like youth soccer is a great way to get some exercise in! Not only does it provide the usual benefits of an active lifestyle, but it helps kids improve their self-confidence.

After all, when you’re learning new skills successfully and playing in front of other people, you get more comfortable doing so.


6. It Also Improves Socialization

Watching your little ones play a match can help bring families and neighbors together. This is an important factor in developing social interactions for yourself and especially for your kids.

Luckily, there’s no better way to meet new friends than on the field. This is because the kids are practicing and playing together regularly; developing a bond in the process. Plus, what’s better than a little healthy competition?


7. Youth Soccer Improves Academic Performance

It’s well-established that sports and exercise help students perform better in the classroom. Their concentration and focus are improved, especially when playing a sport like soccer.

Soccer is also a fast-paced game, so kids learn how to solve problems quickly and efficiently.

Plus, because it involves getting the ball from point A to point B, their visual-spatial awareness is improved at the same time!


Conclusion

There’s no doubt youth soccer is a great way for kids to develop mentally, physically and emotionally. If you think your child is interested in playing the Beautiful Game, take a look at our soccer program and get in touch.  

What Are the Benefits of Soccer for Kids?

Soccer develops agility, speed and stamina

Soccer also teaches children the importance of teamwork, so it can play an important part in your child’s physical and social development. Many communities offer soccer leagues for a variety of ages and skill levels. Choose a soccer league that matches your child’s needs. If you are unsure which league is best, talk to some team coaches to see if they are a good match for your child.

Improves Fitness

Soccer players need to be fit and agile. Most games require children to sprint after the ball and jog up and down the field, which are activities that build endurance and speed. Dribbling and shooting the ball develops agility and coordination. The health benefits of active sports such as soccer include stronger bones and muscles, decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and decreased chance of becoming overweight, according to Kids Health from Nemours.

The organization also points out that aerobic exercise causes the heart to beat faster. When aerobic exercise occurs regularly, it “strengthens the heart and improves the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to all its cells.”


Builds Social Skills

Playing with a soccer team develops a child’s ability to cooperate and interact with other children. To win a soccer game, the whole team must communicate and work together. Defensive positions must support the midfield and offensive positions during attacks on the opponents’ goal. Offensive positions must return to their own goal to help the defensive positions when they are under pressure from the other team.

To move the ball up the field, players pass the ball, which requires communicating. These types of cooperative activities develop a child's social abilities. Children who play soccer develop self-confidence and improved social skills.


Develops Good Self-Image

Since soccer has an emphasis on the success of the team as a whole, rather than the success of individual players, it is a sport that less athletically inclined children will enjoy. Compared to such team sports as baseball, which requires players to bat or field a ball alone, soccer puts less pressure on children. Soccer encourages teamwork and communication, which allows a child to identify personally with team successes, rather than feel a need to outperform teammates to gain recognition.

Importance of Sports to Health

Whether it’s a pickup game of basketball or an organized water polo league, playing sports can make you healthier and happier because of the physical activity involved. Playing sports contributes to muscle development, coordination, cardiovascular health and numerous other benefits associated with disease prevention; physical activity can help ward of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis, according to Sport and Development.org.


Sports and Special Populations

Playing sports can help children develop healthy bones, stronger cardiovascular systems and powerful lungs, according to Sport and Development.org. Child athletes also develop motor skills and cognitive skills. Being physically active as a child makes it more likely to continue playing sports as an adult, promoting lifelong health, according to the United Nations. Among women, sports can help prevent osteoporosis and hip fractures. Older citizens who play sports have opportunities to keep their bodies moving, feel independent and socialize with others in a healthy way.


Getting Physical

Playing sports can help people achieve fitness goals related to weight loss, muscle development and fat reduction because of the physical activity involved. Children who play sports are less likely to experience childhood obesity. Physical activity is associated with hormone regulation and strengthening the immune system, according to True Sport.org.


In the Body, In the Mind

It’s not just your body that benefits from sports. Playing sports contributes to mental health, helping to prevent depression and increase self-esteem and body image, according to Sport and Development.org. Individuals who participate in sports might also benefit from the social aspect, developing friendships with teammates and feeling part of a group. Children can learn positive mental health skills including accountability, leadership and dedication, according to the University of Missouri Children’s Hospital. Playing sports is a key strategy for reducing stress, because your body releases feel-good endorphins while exercising.


Different Sports, Different Benefits

Some sports are associated with particular health advantages. For example, bowling can help achieve greater bone density because of the frequent heavy lifting, according to the Mother Nature Network. Fencing might help ward off cognitive decline, given the complex thinking associated with this sport. People who play volleyball benefit from increased hand-eye coordination and flexibility. Ping-pong also helps players increase hand-eye coordination, while also promoting better brain health because of the fast thinking involved.


It’s a Lifestyle Thing

Another reason that sports are important for health is that participating in sports can encourage positive lifestyle decisions. For example, if you belong to a recreational rugby league, you might spend your evenings and weekends practicing with your team rather than stopping for a cocktail after work or ordering greasy happy hour food

Five Reasons Why Children Should Play Soccer

From local pitches in Kammengo to the sandy beaches of Brazil, soccer is played by millions of children across the globe. Participating in a soccer league offers a constructive way for kids to have fun and provides an opportunity for families to spend quality time together. Soccer also helps children develop in myriad ways that benefit their physical and emotional well-being.


Becoming Fit

Learning the importance of daily exercise can help your child lead a healthier life. Soccer combines aerobic and anaerobic elements that require a high level of fitness in players. The required level of fitness helps children to maintain healthy body weight. Playing soccer also gives children the recommended amount of cardiovascular exercise necessary to maintain a healthy heart and lungs. Regular exercise builds muscle strength and increases energy levels.


Making Friends

This inclusive sport offers league play for both boys and girls. Soccer leagues are open to various age groups and allow children as young under-5s to compete. Thus children can be members of a team during critical development stages. The child learns important character building traits such as working hard to develop skills and good sportsmanship. Children also experience healthy peer-group interactions and learn how to build friendships during practices, games and team activities.


Broadening Horizons

Soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, has more than 200 national member associations. A high-profile event such as the FIFA World Cup illustrates the diversity of the game’s participants and fans, as well as the various places it is played. Exposing children to soccer can stimulate them to think broader about the world in terms of countries, cultures and people. Thinking in broader terms can also spark their interest in traveling, foreign languages and geography.


Curing Boredom

Playing soccer can teach your child constructive ways to cure boredom. The game’s pace can be the perfect antidote for children who are easily bored. Instead of spending time playing video games and watching television, your child will be active. Being a member of a soccer team will give her access to positive mentors, such as coaches and other adults who will teach her helpful time-management techniques.


Forging Bonds

Getting your children involved in a soccer league strengthens their bond with you. Taking an interest in something they find important lets children know you care. Furthermore, it increases the amount of quality time you spend together. 

POEMS

A Door for the Vulnerable

Poem by: Mr. Kasumba Richard (E-volunteer)

Stuck between quandaries, with no one to adore.
The vulnerable asks himself a question no one wishes to explore
To the people whose death hurt him to the core.
"Was I the child you wished and bore?"
"Was I too unfortunate for you to ignore?"
No one answers, even in multitudes like sand on the seashore
He is left in a quandary of what fate has for him in store.
It dawns on him to open the door.
A door, doors, two, three and more.
A door of realization to earn himself a score
A score for the tribulations he bore
The ones he bore by the goodness nature tore
The goodness that furthermore nature outwore.
He realizes there's more for him than to weep and be sore.
A pang of understanding yells at him like a roar
"You are much more than you think"
"Do not be weak, stand as strong as a rod of iron ore"
"For in your strength, there's power to fly and soar"
He gets to the realm that the rest of the world explores.
He forgets the problems that hurt him to the core.
And confidence became his lasting legacy and everyone adored.

The Triumph

Poem by: Mr. Kasumba Richard (E-volunteer)

The apocalypse lies far ahead
It's time we savored the present
To shake the past feelings, for they are no more
With determination not to ponder on them
A determination we must possess but not just wear
For if we just wear, it will be fleeting.
Now that the future seems great
And our end is surely not tomorrow
Our fears are no match for our vigour.


We will confront them with power
And cast them to the state that is lower
And our triumph will glow like a flower.
Our power will finally flurry around
And every darkness out powered by light
A light that shines for eternity
For the negative past cannot be redone
No matter what we face, we are made of the best.
And as our end lies far from here
It's in this time that we must savor the present.

A Child of the Universe

Poem by: Richard Kasumba (E-volunteer)

At that later moment, the universe calls aloud
Calls aloud with a shout that sheds the cloud.
"Come my citizens you who think are Hell-bound"
To it's children who were cast out with a sound.
Cast out without help and hopes blacked out
To you, who think are desolate, destiny promises firm ground!

Cry not child of the universe!
Trouble is cast to the ground!
You once sounded lost, You now sound found!
Come you who the universe will name "triumphant"
You on whom the earth's woes have done pound.
Now stand with strength, "victor" is your noun.
Once deprived, but sooner loud and proud
Not on a mound, but with a crown on a mount.
"Arise my child, and give a triumphant shout"
The universe calls out to the poor ones it sought!

For the tall, sinewy, slender and stout
All know that no thought in or out can count
The success of you who encourage yourselves all time round.
Here has the universe come to announce
The seeds of your dreams will sprout.
And you'll march the path of joy like a scout!
Arise oh child of the universe, for the past is out.
Don't shed a tear, Don't let your weeps sound.
For the days are at hand when the universe calls aloud;
Calls aloud, with a shout that sheds the cloud

A Light

Poem by: Mr. Kasumba Richard (E-volunteer)

We are a light that was kindled
A future yet to come
We possess power through our experiences
Power that moves and transforms the world.
Power that we render to the world through inspiration.
Through our fight in life we continue to uncover
To uncover the potential that lies beneath our reach
"Fear not trial" our motion says! we are composed of power


Power with a potential to generate a difference
A difference that gives birth to change
A change birthed by us heroes of life.
As a rose holds her beauty amongst thorns
We gather our strength from nothing
But it lasts us the far we're determined to go.
Our struggle may seem vainly
But our failure won't exist
For we are the flame that was kindled
And a future that's yet to come

STORIES

SHATTERED DREAMS 1

Story By: Ms. Nnabisere Vivian (E-volunteer)

The sun consistently glared its burning waves at Ana’s scaly dark skin, making it damp with sweat. Today, as on every other day, she staggered on her weary small limbs, her pot belly hollow with unrelenting hunger and a coiled basket full of boiled maize, firm on her short lusterless hair. Today business was bad, she thought as her bare soles marked the earth. Perhaps it was because competition was growing tougher, but her foodstuffs sold less and her goal seemed to be retreating into the unknown. A growl fled her abdomen, mocking her to recollect the day of her most recent meal. Maybe the other day, or the one before, she debated. Distracted in thought, she failed to notice the protruding rock in the footpath. With an alarmed cry she stumbled, her body kissing the ground as the contents on her head scattered onto the dirt. She agonizingly crawled on her bleeding knee, trying to reach for her dirtied commodities.


In her bitter attempt to stabilize herself, her gaze was drawn to three children, who looked to be aged as her own nine years, their neat uniforms a sharp contrast to her faded torn dress. Their jovial laughter, like an exotic perfume, circulating the atmosphere as they returned from the nearby school to their homes. Ana cast a longing gaze towards them, craving that she was one of them. But unfortunately, lightning and misfortune had done their despicable work and her breadwinner father lost his retail shop in a fire that destroyed all years of hard work. Gradually, all their little savings were eaten up by expenses. The subsequent days had risen with severe hunger as their sun and gloom its light. From moon ascent to sunrise, Ana and her three younger siblings huddled on the icy floor that served as their bed, no cover over them. Then could be heard the constant roar of disagreements between her father and stay-at-home mother, about nothing and everything. The rainy nights shadowed by uncomfortable wetness, as chilly drops queued through the cracked roof. Strong wheezing resonated, as Aggie the youngest, inhaled the coldness. It was in one of those dreadful nights that Ana’s mother had shattered her visions into dusty pieces. With meals becoming a luxury, education had to be forgotten.

“We can hardly get food. How can we give you the education you need? ” she had wept to Ana between hiccups.

In the darkness, mother’s voice had disturbingly echoed in Ana’s mind. She had wanted to be like the beautiful elegant Teacher Rose in the school when she grew up. She wished to look just as confident and speak as fluently. But how could she be like her, if she dropped out in primary four? Later, she had held onto the fragments of her dreams and seized her mother’s basket, with maize from the kind auntie in the neighborhood, that she sold and saved the money in order to return to school.

It was at this point nearly two years and her aim was still in the valley, far from the mountain peak she desired. But the beautiful image of being a ‘Teacher Rose’ energized her for each day under the scorching heat. It was still her motivation as she then and there, dusted and picked up the fallen maize from the earth and steadied herself on two feet. Soon after, she strolled towards the tattered shelter that she considered home, after the long work day.



....To Be Continued...

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