A few days ago my daughter looked at her father and said: 'Dad, why didn't you teach me to play soccer when I was little?' Her father looked at her and said, 'Because you didn't like to play ball.' And then the girl, a little disappointed, asked him 'And why haven't you insisted that I play?'. His father was speechless because he did not know where 'the shots were coming from'. I do. It is that now she is passionate about soccer and believes that if she had learned to play when she was little, she would surely play much better.
On almost every weekend, thousands of people accompany a soccer game from their homes. For many, soccer is a game to enjoy, but in this country soccer is much more than that.
There is a project, part of the system for development and cooperation between South Africa and Germany, and carried out by the GTZ Foundation, which uses football as an educational tool for the poorest children, helping them to grow in all aspects. They teach them to make friends, to work as a team, and to have control over their lives. It is that soccer also educates. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world.
It plays an important role in preserving the Right of the child to play. Soccer, in many parts of the world, is a way of life. Well controlled and with proper preparation, this sport can bring great benefits to children:
- Increases the muscular power of the legs
- Improves cardiovascular capacity
- Stimulates reaction speed, motor coordination and peripheral vision
- Increases the power of the jump
- Increases testosterone levels
- Oxygenates the blood
- Helps in the socialization of children and teaches them to teamwork
As in all sports, there will be risks of injuries, such as sprains of the ankle, knee, sprains, and even fractures, but nothing is a reason not to play soccer, including children with a disability or physical disorder. Sport contributes to improving their relationship with other children, and encourages them to have more confidence in themselves.
Unicef recognizes that football is a valuable educational tool, especially in the most conflictive countries, to help children overcome trauma and frustrations, protect them from violence, abuse and other evils.
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