Assalmualaikum, my dear brothers and sisters.
Yesterday, I was at Sports Planet Ampang with a few other parents (my first ‘soccer mum’ outing!) watching our boys in a free 2-hour futsal clinic organised by the Sports Planet-City Youth Academy. I was impressed by the organisation and commitment the coaches, led by Coach Sulaiman, had in bringing a structured futsal program to the youngsters living in the city.
There were a few laughters from us parents watching our sons’ futsal antics and many proud moments seeing them achieve some small skill which they previously did not have. I had planned this futsal program with the organisers because I knew that our kids do not get enough exposure to organised and structured sports. Even as I promoted the clinic to parents, I was asked,’ Can they come once a week instead of twice? They have Kumon/tuition/Art class.’ Watching the boys, I came to the realisation that maybe, just maybe, we the parents have gotten our priorities mixed up. It could be clearly seen that the boys lacked many basic skills such as controlling the ball and focusing on the ball. This was shared by the coach himself.
Think about it. Yes, it’s just futsal but are not the skills taught very closely linked to the skills a person needs in the real world? Focus, determination and teamwork. I saw discipline being learnt by the boys (boys really need to be taught by men…Another post, Insha’Allah) and esprit de corps (team spirit) being experienced as they cheered on for their team to win. To give further evidence that our boys need more exposure to sports, during the breaks and after the clinic ended, out came the Gameboys and Sony PSP’s. (sadly, it was one of my boys. At least I know it’s because he wants his friends to know he has one. Sigh…the influences of materialism. I’m still working on it…)
It will be a challenge to convince parents that life (from the ages of 5-21) is not just about school, studying and exams but also about building confidence, strength, focus and leadership. It’s an overall perspective. It is the Transforming Generation we are aiming for, after all.