The desert winds, called Harmatan, made the sand swirl and colored the sky pink. The ambiance was high when the crowd began to gather before the big event: The Yennenga Progress Cup!
In the village Nakamtenga, in Burkina Faso, a group of young people has started a football club. Here, as everywhere in the world football is a unifying force.
And now it was time for Yennenga Progress Cup! The theme was “Sports and Education” and the idea is that this soccer tournament is the first step to gather young people to courses and community events to create a platform for further education and the creation of small businesses, etc. We want to support young people in their organizing activities and develop a concept to seize their commitment and enthusiasm. The idea is to hold Yennenga Progress Cup each year to come!
The governor, representatives from the provincial government, an MP from the area, military, and religious leaders gathered along with about a thousand spectators. And soon came the teams! The team from Nakamtenga was dressed with soccer outfit from a football club in Taby, Sweden.
Yennenga Progress Cup, is a very good name! Yennenga is a princess in a legend from the 1400 th from this area. If one were to summarize how the princess Yennenga is, we get the following:
- Yennenga has talent and a good heart.
- Yennenga stands for innovation and courage.
- Yennenga challenges limiting norms.
- Yennenga asks for help to succeed.
- Yennenga is a good role model and encourages others’ potentials.
Just as it is with football! As a footballer, you must:
• Have talent and a good heart
• You need to think in new ways so that the opposing team gets a surprise!
• Through football we can get away from restrictive norms: football builds bridges between countries, languages, and cultures.
• In football you have to pass the ball! Everyone is needed! If a player just keeps the ball for himself, he will not get far on the field … In football you have to ask for help to succeed. The whole team is important.
• You as a football player also have an important role as a role model. Other people will see you and be inspired. Especially the younger ones. You can represent a healthy life, morality and responsibility. In football – just as in life – we reach the top if we also know to lift each other.
Sometimes sand swirling on the football field so that we could hardly see the ball! And after an exciting match Nakamtenga won 2-1!
The celebration continued late into the night and we all felt: this is just the starting point!