Soccer is an integral part of local cultures across the world, and so a soccer ball became my life. Take every step and attitudes that happen in a soccer match and compare them to what happens in real life. You will see that change can be made and that one can make a huge difference by empowering people through the power of a soccer ball.

I was introduced to a soccer ball through life skills coaching back in 2017 November. I joined the organisation that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to eliminate the adolescent health gap and stop the spread of HIV & AIDS. I had no intentions of growing as a person, I thought I had it all figured out.

I personally joined the organisation because there was income offered. Before I went through training and the implementation of their curriculum, I had no idea that a person can make a difference by using the power of soccer. That there were people who have a desire and who have dedicated their energy to inspiring young people through the power of soccer. Not by playing it, but by applying the techniques, attitudes and rules of playing soccer outside the field in real life.

I never thought a soccer ball can change my perspective of what I thought life really is, make me a better person and help me build self-confidence. I never thought it can allow me to become the role model I always wished I had.

Going through the training and having a chance to implement the organisation’s curriculum has made me fall in love with a soccer ball. Not only does it allow me to inspire and positively touch young people’s lives, but it also allows me to be a better decision maker, to see life in a positive way and to be a star supporter to the young ones.

Every time I hold a soccer ball, it feels like I’m holding my whole life. Putting it in a soccer match, I get to think of goalkeepers, my supporters, teammates, barriers, attitudes, negative and positive voices that will arise before and after scoring a goal. Carrying that into real life, I know that holding a soccer ball, I am actually holding my whole life. All the challenges, mistakes, worst and best moments and all the achievements in my hands.

A soccer ball is so special to me because I now know that before acting, I have to think and plan. When I am faced with failure I have to accept and bounce back. And when I am out there in the world, I am able to speak in such a way that others love to listen, and to listen in such a way that others love to speak to me.

It allows me to positively touch lives of many and to make a difference in the lives of young people. A soccer ball is my life’s championship.