By Divine Kowa and Ekoi Syvia

Kumba, Cameroon — Ever since I was young, I have had a huge passion for sports and competition. I played many different sports growing up, and I now want to compete at the PLAY4PURPOSE girls tournament for the first time in my life. There is something that I love about working hard, competing and getting better.

Throughout my life, I have never been encouraged to play soccer by my parents even though I am a good player. I have my friend to thank for introducing me to CameroonFDP. My passion for sports was fostered by several positive people and coaches who taught me what sports are really about like the community leader and staff member Lobe Wallace. To him, winning wasn’t nearly as important as trying your best, having fun and displaying good sportsmanship.

Playing sports with these goals and values, rather than the pressure to win, grew my love for sports and I began to spend lots of time playing and taking part in the program. While many coaches have played a huge role in my development, none have taught me as much as when I dedicated my time to CameroonFDP’s programs. My experiences in sports have helped me understand that youth coaches should emphasize that sports are a place to have fun, learn good sportsmanship and give 100%. If success in youth sports can be defined more by passion and effort and sportsmanship than by travel, scoreboards, and trophies, all kids can enjoy sports and competition regardless of their ability.