I can't think of a better time in the year to share this with all of you, so much of what is going on right now involves soccer! Yes, that's right, the Soccer World Cup is going on and it is a world event. So many cultures share the passion of this sport, and it is the one thing that so many countries have in common. For so many cultures, soccer is more than just a sport, it is a bonding time in the neighborhood, in the community. I remember growing up in South America and just playing soccer with the other kids in the neighborhood in any open space we could find. We didn't have a fancy field, we didn't even have goal posts but we have each other and we knew how to have FUN.
Columbus Crew Soccer Team won the MSL Cup in 2008 and since then the love for this game has grown so much in this city! I contacted our amazing Columbus Crew and explained the situation in our school, my vision and expectations and the reasons for why I would love for a visit to our school. I have to say working and coordinating this event with Robin has been such a wonderful experience. They are all so supportive of schools, and so professional about what they do!
And so it happened...just like magic, our dear Beechwood Elementary welcomed two players from the Columbus Crew: Eric Brunner and Kenni Schoeni. I have coordinated with them the important issues and topics that I was hoping they would address to our children and they were very receptive to our needs. Both players talked about their passion for soccer but most important they emphasized the sense of team playing over and over. Our students needed to hear this message loud and clear: it is not about shinning individually in soccer, it's about shinning as a team, playing together to reach a common goal.
They accepted questions from our audience, and then they demonstrated some of the basic soccer skills. They were absolutely FANTASTIC. Our students listened to them so carefully, they felt so lucky to be the ones welcoming such amazing players. Not only they had a chance to meet them and get free tickets to the Kicks for Kids game but they also had a chance to practice those basic skills with the players.
All in all: an unforgettable experience for our students in Whitehall City School and for our staff as well. And may I just add that the behavior soccer issues decreased after their visit?? YES! I thought you would be interested in learning that as well. :-) Because taking their soccer away at recess time was not the answer to the problem, it will be like taking a big part of their culture away. Soccer= culture! Enjoy the journey!