Playing Soccer in Arusha
Growing up playing soccer was our go to outdoor activity. We had no air conditioners in our houses. We, being all the kids around my village. Our TV’s had minimal channels, and the electricity was very inconsistent. One minute you are listening to the radio at night the next minute it is pitch black and the power won’t come back on until the next day. Sometimes even longer. People only spent time inside at night. During the day, they were always outdoors. We all had plenty of chores to accomplish every day including: farming, collecting water, washing clothes, etc. But whenever we finished our chores. kicking the soccer ball was our next activity. Most of the time the ball was either a worn out slightly deflating ball or one we made from plastic bags and torn cloths.
The beautiful thing about the game of soccer is you can play it almost anywhere. That is what we did, because we never had proper field to play at. Our village had several open spaces where kids used to play soccer. They had wooden goalpost and the grass was non-existent. The playing field was unleveled dirt land with both small and larger rocks that were dangerous to play on. The love and joy of the game was greater than the risks for all of us, so we overcame the situation and played everyday.
We always played mini games near our homes. It was like playing street soccer in bad environmental conditions where many of us could get hurt. Actually, my brother Alex was one of those kids who got injured. We were playing outside of our house and we had an intense six on six game going on. There was pushing and shoving to try and win the ball wrapped in plastic bags and cloth. The playing field was the usual, bumpy and filled will rocks. You only needed one misstep or kick to cause an injury. Which was what Alex ended up doing. He had kicked one of the rocks in the perfect angle to completely tear off one of his toenails. Situations like that would be avoided if Alex was playing on a proper field. Even to this day, our village does not posses a proper field. That is why I’m working hard with Love Fútbol to make this project happen. Building the field will eliminate all the dangers and risks of playing on rocks and unleveled dirt, making the beautiful game of soccer even better for them.