This is the first of four blogs introducing the team that will be running the second ever kicking Off tournament in Ghana at the end of October 2017.
As a Portsmouth lad, born by the sea, I have always loved to travel, and spent some of my earliest years living in Singapore. My dad was in the Navy – and I followed, more or less, in his footsteps, as a merchant navy officer. I have also been a football fan all my life (Play up Pompey!), so am really happy to be part of the second Kicking off team, and to feel that my paternal influence must be somewhere in Kicking Off’s vision ‘to bring communities together, in different parts of the world, using the power of football’.
It is true that, no matter where you go, across the globe, there is always a group of kids, having a kick about somewhere – and you are welcome to join in, whoever you are and wherever you are from. That is the power of football – and that is something that, as a family, we have always enjoyed, kicking a ball round with a group of Spanish lads, on a campsite, in the Spanish mountains, or with a group of Sri Lankan locals, on a bit of waste ground, in Galle.
As far as this trip is concerned, I have been tasked with several responsibilities. Firstly, I am the score-keeper in charge of tournament results on the big day of the inter-school’s tournament. Secondly, as a practical person, used to controlling projects, I will be talking to people about the logistics of siting and building a community resource hub, as part of the second phase of the Kicking Off project in the Mpraeso area. I am really looking forward to going out to Ghana in three weeks’ time – something like 35 years since the last time I was there, on a small a small ship in the port of Takoradi. I wonder how much will have changed.