NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 23 – June 2018 couldn’t come sooner for two teenagers from Parklands Baptist Primary school after being selected to be part of the sixth edition of the Football for Friendship (F4F) tournament that will precede the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia.
Jadidi Ndakumbi and Myles Muriuki both 12-years-olds and class seven pupils in the school based in the heart of Westlands in Nairobi, have been given the chance to take part in the age group tournament.
Jadidi for his silky skills on the pitch, and Myles for his exemplary leadership skills and journalist abilities impressed selecting coaches and teachers.
To be part of F4F, an International Children’s Social programme implemented by Gazprom company – official partner of FIFA and the World Cup, an initiative that involves the young generation throughout the world in promoting the most important human values among their peers – friendship, equality, peace and respect for different cultures and nationalities intrigues Myles and Jadidi,
Jadidi, who wants to be a professional football player in future, says God has answered his prayers to finally travel out of the country to meet other equally talented kids to socialize and get to learn their culture and make friends.
“I have always loved to play football ever since I was a young boy, through the sport I have been able to make friends not only in my school but also kids from neighboring schools.
Soon I will be able to meet many more young footballers from around the world,” Jadidi, the second born to Andrew and Lilian Ndambuki explained.
“I will be supporting Argentina and Germany in the world Cup because I know they have the potential to lift the trophy, Though Brazil cannot be ruled out as well. It could have been better to support Kenya, but unfortunately they will not be at the World Cup,” he offered.
Myles on the other hand caught the eye of the selectors for his dedication not only to tell his story but also that of his friends through the art of writing.
“Through writing, I am able to tell the world my feeling and that of my friends, as a footballer, I like to document the happenings in our school football team, that is my passion for a while now,” Myles disclosed.
“I want to be a journalist when I grow up, this is because the profession is fun and most importantly because I want to tell the world what is happening,” Myles the first born to Nicholas and Rachel Muriuki narrated.
-Earn opportunity to train-
The tournament will also be beneficial to the youngsters as the footballer will get an opportunity to be trained by some of the world best coaches and for the aspiring Journalist Myles, he will be guided further on how to tell his story and become a better scribe.
According to development coach Stanely Achima who has handled Jadidi from an early age, he describes the youngster as an extremely talented footballer and a good leader of the game.
“His dribbling capabilities are a joy to watch, offensively he scores a lot of goal and also creates so many more for the school’s under 12 team, he also falls back to help the team when we are under pressure. I have no doubt he will go far,” Achima who was part of the selecting committee lengthened.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of PJSC Gazprom Victor Zubkov, has good feelings about the tournament that will be marking its sixth edition.
“F4F is supported by 211 countries and regions! For the very first time, young athletes from all parts of the world where football is played will meet on the same field. We live in an age where people all over the world seek to unite behind the principles of equality and respect for each other,” Zubkov noted.
The tournament will bring together 32 International Teams of Friendship athletes of different nationalities, different genders and different physical abilities to play in one team.
The age of players is 12. Each International mixed Team of Friendship will be trained by Young Coaches – football players of 14-16years from different countries.
The tournament will run from 8-15 June 2018 and the youngsters will also have the opportunity to watch the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the first match pitting host Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki, Stadium in Moscow.
-By Amos Abuga-