JBFC Football Dreams Come TrueJune 18, 2016 1:45 pm
She’s always wanted to play football on the biggest stage on this side of Tanzania.
CCM Kirumba is the largest stadium in Mwanza region and it is where Tanzanian professional teams both play and practice. Neema has spent hours in the Tanzanian sun practicing, so she could be the type of player capable of competing at the level where she could play at CCM Kirumba.
And last week, her dream came true.
“It was good to play at CCM Kirumba because it was one of my dreams. It was really great!” Neema said with a huge smile on her face.
Neema R. graduated from JBFC’s Joseph & Mary Secondary School last December. She has spent the last six months, taking computer courses, tutoring at a local primary school, and playing football for a club team, Marsh Sports Academy. It’s one of the premier football clubs in Mwanza and has been a stepping stone for some players to win a spot on the Tanzanian national women’s team.
Neema’s team, Marsh, rose to the top of the league and was set to play their final league match on the pitch of Neema’s dreams… CCM Kirumba.
And Neema’s sisters from JBFC were there to cheer her on. What no one anticipated was that all of the JBFC girls would get a chance to play on that famous field.
The Marsh team was supposed to face-off against another team to compete for the league championship, but they didn’t show up. So the leaders of the league asked the JBFC girls, ranging in age from 12-18, if they’d like to play.
Even though it was just a friendly match and no score was kept, the JBFC girls were a little nervous playing against an older team on a storied field. Big sister Neema R had to give them a bit of a pep talk.
“It was also great to have support from the JBFC girls in this league and at the stadium, because I want them to one day have a dream like me so I can show them my support too!” Neema said. “I felt sad to play against them, my sisters, because they were needing my help and also they were so young for this league, but I am so proud of them!”
“I feel good to have played at CCM Kirumba, because it is a famous place in our country,” said Pendo, 7th grade. “A lot of other people wish to play there, but can’t. I really want to be a good player in this country and the world.”
“As the captain, it was great as it was our first time to play at this field,” said Laurencia, 7th grade. “It is special because we got to play there before a lot of other people who wish to play there. I was proud of our team because they played well and even though we lost, it was good because they are older than us. Our goal now is to beat all those teams that beat us.”
The JBFC girls gave it their all. And some announcers from Radio Free Africa took notice, interviewing Zai, Laurencia, and Salome after the game.
“It was very good, because it was my first time playing there at the stadium and it is amongst the biggest in our country,” said 6th grader, Salome. “I feel good playing against big teams like Marsh because I train myself to play against people bigger than my age. I am playing for my future life, to be able to announce myself all over the world through soccer!”
Neema and Marsh Sports won the regional championship. Her sisters in sport, the JBFC Football Club, have been told by leaders of the league that they would like to formally invite the girls to play a real match at the stadium as a reward for their heart! We couldn’t be prouder!
This post was written by Mainsprings