When we talk about fine margins in sport generally it’s a close call of some sort. In cricket it would be a run out by a centimeter and in rugby a foot just over the touchline. Fine margins in this case is the difference between the haves and have nots.
In the suburb of Cape Town that I live in I often drive past a certain park and once or twice a week I see children playing soccer in that park supervised by one or two adults. You may ask what the relevance of children is playing in a park and here’s why it struck a chord with me.
These kids come from a township that is approximately 10km from where I live and I’m guessing they come all that way because perhaps they don’t have a park like that where they live. So, this adult supervisor has taken it upon himself to teach these children discipline, keep them healthy and let them have fun while they are doing something active. When I drive past, they have cones set out in patterns for running as well as a game. They use whatever they can find as training tools, like big rocks to jump on top of. The park is also one of those outside gyms that seem to be popping up everywhere and so they make use of the ‘gym’ as well.
You may still be wondering why if feel compelled to tell this story about these township children playing soccer in the park and as I said earlier this article is about the haves and have not’s because just across the road form this park where the children play soccer in the long weed infested grass is a school. Now this school has placed an enormous emphasis on sport and as such I see kids playing all sorts of sports every day on the school grounds. The school kids have proper coaches, a lush cut field of grass to play on and great facilities to make use of. Obviously, the kid’s parents pay school fees and can afford the sports kits for their children as well.
My point is what would it cost that school to tell those children that are playing just over the road to come play on their nice field with all the other kids after school? They already have a supervisor so it’s not like you’d have to hire another coach and from what I can see there’s more than enough space for all the kids on that school field. How many people drive past those kids with no sports clothes on or equipment to wear and think about why they are there?
This is the inherent problem facing us today is the fact that people see something right in front of them and yet are oblivious. So, I’ve made it my personal mission to find out more about why those kids play there and to ask that school if they can perhaps let them play soccer on a section of their field once or twice a week. I’d also like to help them out as a coach because I have coached young kids before and played soccer as well and I think I can add value.
So next time you see something similar ask yourself a question. Ask yourself if there is anything you can do to help? Even if you think what you have to offer is small believe me it can make all the difference. We are supposed to love each other and I, for one am going to start trying where I can. It’s not always about money, most times it’s about changing people’s perspectives and once you see the world through someone else’s eyes you can no longer live the way you used to. You must change not only to help but to bring people together regardless of race, religion or how much money they have and once we have more people doing that the possibilities are endless!