Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Determination of Coach Said

by Thomas Bwire

As I watched the senior soccer team play today during their training session, I found myself drawn into the game as the ball kept running across the field while young energetic young men kept their momentum. Amidst the players was one coach by the name Said Mohamed whom you could easily mistake as one of the players, instead of a soccer coach. He played with his team members to keep the game strong from the opponents who were the senior boy’s category.

Coach Said, left, warming up with Sponsorship Coordinator Mathew and Coach Tilen

Time flew so fast that when the referee blew the whistle for the first break, I got the rare opportunity to grab coach Said for a small interview and get to know how his soccer journey has been.

He shared with me that his passion for the soccer started at a tender age of 7 years while still living with his parents in the coastal region. At that time, he used to accompany his elder brother by going to watch local matches that kept increasing his interest day by day. By the time he joined class seven, he found himself training with a senior soccer team.

Coach Said, on left, playing in a coaches vs. players friendly match
The greatest impact came from his mother who supported him throughout his journey to success as she could sacrifice her small savings from her business selling fish to give him money to purchase any soccer kit he required.

He later moved to Kibera in 2007 and had to stay with a relative as he looked for a casual job to enable him have some savings for himself. While staying in the city, he got to meet Uweza team manager Charles Kaindi, famously known as Coach Stam, who later introduced him to the organization program.  Said started with Uweza as a coach for the girls team and is currently tasked to manage the youngest categories, the under-8 and under-10 teams.
Coach Said Mohamed
Coach Said says that his greatest passion now working at Uweza is that he is happy to be working with the small team of both girls and boys from the Kibera community.  "Kids love to learn even if they see a challenge ahead of them, they keep up with the spirit, they are also flexible and don’t like to lose a game," says coach Said.

If he were to change something in the soccer industry, it would be to create ways of nurturing talent among the less fortunate children.  Most of them have great talents but no one notices them, since most of the soccer officials fail to scout for the best talents that can be beneficial for the country and their respective clubs as well.

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