Fair Play Shows at Street Football League

March 13th 2015 was the opening of NGUVU Street Football League at Gachororo Primary School in Juja. The inaugural event featured a total of 11 girls and 13 boys teams in the U 10, U12 and U14 categories.

Initially, 24 teams from eight different schools met to compete in sports. However, unlike most other sporting activities, the focus of NGUVU Street Football League was not the number of goals scored or which team triumphs over the others. Rather, the most important feature for all the participating teams was the extent to which they could demonstrate fair play. Points were awarded for show of courtesy to opponents, exchanging handshakes before and after each match, tolerance for team mates’ opinions, as well as overall good sportsmanship.

By the last day of the league, a total of 75 different teams had played in the various age categories, bringing the total number of participants to over 700.   

Balancing the Equation

One of the most remarkable instances in the tournament was when Super Girls team from Gachororo Primary School crashed with Flamingoes, constituted mainly from South Sudanese community living in Gachororo. After barely five minutes of play, Super Girls had emerged the decisively stronger team and the match had turned into a one-sided affair. But this is when the most unexpected happened.

Sensing that they were going to trounce their opponents badly, Super Girls stopped the match and donated two of their best players to the Flamingoes side. This was a selfless move on the Super Girls, and a clear demonstration of the virtues that the teams had been taught about fair play.

At the end of the match, scores were 2:2. However, the most important win for the Super Girls was on the fair play points for having taken the initiative to donate two of their best players to the opposing team in order to balance the teams’ strengths.

There were more instances of selflessness during the tournament, including some teams voluntarily merging with teams from different schools to play against other similarly formed teams. There were impressive displays of leadership among the team captains, too, and there was certainly much that we (adults) could learn about fairness, simply by observing the activities of these children in the field.

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