Construction of Football Pitch Raises Youth Morale
Published July 29, 2016 by Abdullatif Osman
meet Abdi Hassan Haji, a footballer in his early 20s, from the town of Dhoobley in somalia. Like most youth of his age, he has always had high hopes from life.
Abdi has always wanted to make a name for himself in sports especially through football. Rather than focus on the challenges he faced growing up, he chose to immerse himself in football as it proved to be a haven of some sort. Many of his peers he grew up with got caught up in wrong choices with some ending up as recruits to gangs and militia groups.
As Abdi came of age, his dreams of becoming a professional football player seemed to dwindle. With limited access to amenities required to train and practice his hopes slowly faded away. The realities in his hometown made his dream harder to achieve. At the very least, he needed a place wide space to play and practice. This was not the case as the only pitch in town was shared by eight football teams making it difficult to share and access.
“The sport teams were too many, and the only football pitch in town couldn’t accommodate all of us,” says Abdi Hassan.
Adeso, with funding from Somalia Stability Fund, constructed a football pitch for the youth in Dhobley as part of an initiative to help the youth find sustainable employment and facilitate the rehabilitation of community assets.
Abdi Hassan and his colleagues are now happy because they don’t have to wait for days to play football. The availability of a second football pitch enables them to have more access and spend more time playing football. The pitch is also managed by a football committee which adheres to a strick schedule policy allowing all the teams to access it fairly.
“As two teams play, we go to the other pitch to play. We don’t have to wait for long,” says Abdi Hassan.
“We will manage the new pitch. The committee will oversees the smooth flow of activities at the football centers. We also have a chairman, a vice chairman, etc,” says Muhiyadin Jama, Chairman of Youth at Dhoobley.
Reflecting on the high affinity to sports among the youth, Muhiyadin has high hopes and sees bright days ahead for the youth in his town.
“We have plans to send young footballers to other regions, even to neighboring Kenya, to get the experience in football, and build networks,” he said. “This will also help in youth integration; it will help in fighting tribalism, narcotics, and propensity to crime.”
Each year, 12 football tournaments are held in the town of Dhoobley, with 16 football teams competing for championships. Youth at Dhoobley have showed determination in their efforts to bridge the communities, and unite youth through sports.