Reaching Out in Rehobeth (Namibia)
July 2nd, 2013. For the second week with Special Olympics Namibia, Brian, Sheila and Charlie travelled south of the capital to the small but rapidly growing town of Rehoboth. SON has recruited many teachers, coaches, and soccer lovers who have quite the urge to make a difference in their community. Rehoboth is made up of vibrantly colored houses and equally vibrant personalities in the coaches that attended our program. We trained our coaches at Rehoboth HS where every morning we saw the future generations of Rehoboth come out of their classrooms and immediately beg us to play with a soccer ball. Clearly, our coaching trainees will have plenty of players willing to join their teams.
Throughout the week, we taught the coaches soccer skills for life through the role models of Marta Vieira de Silva, Jack Wilshire, Cristiano Ronaldo and Emmanuel Adebayor. The coaches learned how to teach kids skills for dribbling, passing and beating your defender, along with drills of combining all three skill sets as well as key social messages that went along with each game.
On Wednesday, the coaches learned five games that addressed HIV responsibility and how to use soccer to emphasize behavioral change to protect yourself from the virus. This was an inspirational day to be a part of as many coaches really started to speak up and have their voices heard on these issues. It was amazing to hear how many people still believe some political leaders’ incorrect statements on how to protect yourself from HIV which the CAC coaches did their best to nullify. All the trainees left that day openly talking and sharing personal stories which is so important in a country with a 15% HIV prevalence rate.
On Thursday and Friday, the trainee coaches got the chance to teach the games and we really got to see their personalities shine on the field. One coach showed how to be a true team player by participating in games taught by her fellow coaches despite her severe high ankle sprain on Monday. Each coach explained the social impact message taught with each game and we were really able to see how much passion these local coaches have on changing their community by teaching conflict resolution, problem solving, health and wellness and increasing overall confidence.
In a town divided into eight blocks, which is how residents label each other in Rehoboth, the five days with CAC showed these soccer coaches can all come together and work as one group for impact and change in their future generations.