Breakthrough Football celebrates 1st anniversary after a break of two years.
Just over a year ago we were able to add football to the list of activities after a “hiatus” of a couple of years. We were fortunate enough to be have an opportunity to be invited to reapply for the use of the KGV facilities after the completion of their upgrade of their pitch and addressed historical negative issues related to our access and rental previously for football.
With a generous HK$300K funding donation from Edrington, (who have just donated another HK$300K cheque last month for 2015-2016), and later sponsorship support from Adidas we were able to get the programme going.
The objective formulated was that we would provide quality in terms of venue, coaches, balls, equipment, transportation etc. in return for the kids just showing a genuine commitment to turning up regularly & wanting to play football.
What started out as a group of kids who were apparently playing on a hard ground in Kowloon West for two years, has progressed to an organised Breakthrough activity and expanded group of kids who have been training regularly with a dedicated coach and a community group officer. In addition, we have formed a good relationship and understanding with the Federation of Youth Groups centre in To Kwa Wan, which has up to 2000 ‘youths’ registered at their centre. This has seen an additional group of kids attending our Wednesday and Saturday programmes ages ranging from 11 -18.
We started a summer programme last Tuesday and 40 new kids turned up. We have engaged a third coach for the summer.
Two teams (U14 & U16) competing in the Adidas Cup 2015 (entry fee kindly waived by our sponsors Adidas!). This is the second competition the kids have played in, the last being in August 2014 where they finished 1st runners up.
We have spoken to the coaches and the HKFA about a possible HKFA junior league team entry for the season 2016-2017 as the next objective if we can get regular numbers next year in certain age groups.
We will continue with the Wednesday and Saturday morning sessions from September.
On Thursday 9th July we had a special year-end lunch to award “squad” shirts to the young players (who were able to attend) who had been with the programme on Wednesdays and/or Saturdays. I was surprised to find out that we were actually able to allocate 50+ shirts with a squad number and their name on which means we have 50 kids who have been/ are now training on a Wednesday and/or Saturday. NB: 27 kids turned up yesterday to receive their shirts others being at school or on holiday.
Our programme now reaches almost 90 kids, an objective set last year (optimistically), this has been achieved right at the end of the year with the summer programme.
What was most pleasing was the attendance of community officers and parents at the lunch as well as Ivan and Sures who represented Breakthrough, helped out and interacted with the kids, plus two police officers one a cousin of Kuen and the other a boxer who is also a football player and interested now in Breakthrough.
The squad shirts were handed out along with a short speech from me outlining the key philosophies that align with Breakthrough football programme:
Commitment – to training each week
Respect – for the game (of football/soccer), for the coaches, for yourselves & your teammates, opponents
Attitude – towards learning, towards training, towards the rules of the game, towards fair play
Responsibility – to practice and train well, to turn up on time, to be ready to train or play, to do as well as you can
Discipline – to prepare well, to follow the instructions, to develop good habits & put this into their training and play 100%
Much credit goes to Kuen and our coaches Kenji & Ah Sa plus our sponsors, Edrington and kit partners Adidas but more importantly to the young kids who have taken on board what is being coached to them, turn up regularly and have improved over the past year.