My first experience of football coaching was from 2014 to 2015 at Pandawas Academy for Refugees, Kuala Lumpur. I developed a group of individuals who never before had any football training into a winning team. It was a steep learning curve for me at 12 years old to plan for, organise, and structure training for kids only 3 or 4 years younger, many of whom spoke hardly any English. It was also the first time I learnt of the hardships and difficulties these young refugee kids had gone through being uprooted from their homes and countries. Some had even seen members of their family tortured or killed. I had to leave Malaysia in 2015 with my family. "My" club continued to be coached by my friend Tony - and was renamed Refugee Soccer Academy.
In December 2019 I went back to see Tony and the boys and girls. For the first time I coached as a qualified FIFA coach. It was an awesome experience! I was aware of how much FIFA training gave me, and enjoyed every minute of passing it on to those enthusiastic kids.
The club is renamed "Refugee Soccer Academy" - you can visit their Facebook page if you click the picture above - opens in a new page.
We have applied to make this the first refugee football club recognised by the FAM - Football Club of Malaysia! This should happen in 2020 - will keep you posted.....
Globally people are suffering physically and mentally in the coronavirus pandemic. There are many things to learn from this strange experience - too many to list here. In terms of my personal experience, it is a time to ask myself "how resilient and focused am I really"? "Will I value and appreciate normality when we finally return to it"? "Does this make me appreciate health, fitness and sport more"? "Does this make me appreciate friends and family more"? Lockdown is a good time to ask ourselves some important questions and find some good answers.......
1st May, 2020
Light at the end of the tunnel for a few billion people under lockdown! I think QPR´s player Jordan Hugill was being impressivly honest when he said he suffers mentally during lockdown. He said he found Tyson Fury´s book inspirational. Good point Jordan - we all need to find what and who inspires us in our best directions. Like many people I have spend lots of time on the internet learning. There is no shortage of "inspirational material" out there - for me, it´s just about finding what has a bit of depth to seem like a good idea not just today, but next week, next month and next year. Luckily I have found a few good guides. I think the truly good guides dont make us want to listen to them every day, but help us to find our self-discipline and motivation inside ourselves. That way we can walk away from lockdwon stronger than we were locked into it! The psychology of sports is truly fascinating! This gives me ideas of what I want to study at undergraduate level......
University life in Covid Times
After a few months of isolation a.k.a remote studying, it´s back to relatively normal at the campus of Chichester in April 2021 Everybody seems happy to beleive that the worst of Covid-19 is behind us. So much can be said, but summaries are cool too: Sport is great, and it´s good to be back! Currently applying for summmer jobs where I can get more coaching experience, have some fun and earn some money.....looking forward to summer 2021!