Morgan’s Diary – February 12, 2018,
This morning I went together with Jenelyn who is the mother to two boys who play on the boys Razkal team. We visited four of the girls players homes. With every family I met, I understood why it is difficult for some families to help and support their daughter financially, as many of the players come from big families with five, up to 10 brothers and sisters. Some households only have one working parent, as one parent needs to stay at home to tend to the children. It is hard for some parents to take time off work to be present at their daughters games, because many depend on their daily income to feed their families. If they take time off, then they risk not being able to put food on the table for that day.
Despite the parents not being able to be physically present for the girls games, they made it very clear that they support their daughters playing football both mentally and emotionally. The girls parents are home cheerleaders, rooting for the girls before they leave for a game and once they arrive home from their game. Many parents support the girls playing football because they realize it helps the girls from going down the wrong path.
One parent said to me that if her daughter wasn’t in football, that she could end up pregnant at an early age, or end up in the wrong crowd and getting into alcohol and drugs. With football, it helps her have a good support system, good friends, discipline, and good grades.
Coach Ronan has said to me that if the girls want to be on the team, that education comes first, then sports second. If a player is failing in school, they will be kicked off the team.
During one of my home visits, a players sister even broke down crying to me saying that she regretted ever making bad comments to her sister for playing football as it could be financially challenging to support her. She said that she realizes now that her sister really loves the sport, and that more importantly it makes her happy.
After my home visits I went to visit the church parking lot that they used to practice on. They haven’t been able to practice here for close to a year as when the priest changed, the new priest no longer supported the girls playing, and they have not been allowed to practice there any longer. I visited a sports complex next door, and learned that it is expensive to rent, and is usually rented out. I now understand firsthand how difficult it is for coach Ronan to find a good place for the girls to practice, as there is limited open space in Talisay, and all complex’s are expensive to rent out as the team receives no funding.
I then continued on to Mohon Divino Amore National High school where I was to hold a team building workshop with all of the girls on the Razkal team. It went really well, as we focused on the key aspects of team work, trust, communication, leadership, goals/results, and support. The workshop involved them to think critically and reflect, work as a group to answer questions, and also different games to strengthen their bond. Some girls came up to me after saying that it was really fun and that they even learned some news things about their other team mates.
I handed out the rest of the football items I brought with me to all the girls. They were all so happy to get new uniforms, and training equipment. Two girls, Cinday and Kris both received new futsal shoes which they were very excited for. I got many hugs and thank you’s from the girls. I could really tell they were grateful for everything I handed out. They sang me a thank you song at the end which almost brought me to tears.
We packed up and went to play futsal (indoor football) which I even got to play with the girls. It was so much fun to play along side them, each of them have amazing footwork, which I could only imagine comes from many endless hours of practice. It’s been a long day, but a really fantastic one!
Lööf Foundation representative