This is an update from Standard Sport one of our Partners in Ukraine.

We run children’s football teams in different regions of Ukraine. We have teams in cities, towns and villages. But our main focus is developing children’s football teams in villages. In Ukraine children in villages are in a special at-risk group. For many of them there is no future. Bad education, living in divorced families, no work, alcoholism etc. So therefore we try to set up children’s teams in villages.

Today I will share something about our team from Stepan. We set up the team there 7 years ago, and it was the team for 10 years old boys. The coach there is a board member of our organization. We led the team during these 7 years; we provided qualified coaching sessions for them; we provided life skills lessons like leadership, motivation, respect yourself and others, confidence etc. We did soccer camp during summer for them and other children from the village; we participated with them in many tournaments.

Now they have grown up and left our children’s team. How can we measure success now? Were we successful or not with them?

I spoke with their coach and we tried to evaluate our work with them. Of course there are many things that we should improve with new children’s team there in the future. But there are some things that we can count as success.

Success is that many children got purpose in life, got goals that they need to achieve. Some of them who don’t have fathers in families got the coach as a role model of man and father. Success is that 15 children didn’t become alcoholics as many their fellows in villages. Success is that 4 of them went to Universities and some others will go to University next year. Success is that this year when we start a new children’s team for 10 years old boys we got 20 children; it says to us that we did our job right and that number of children is recognition of quality of this job. Success is that when we run children’s tournaments in this village there were so many adults from village who supports kids (it is unusual in Ukraine, mostly parents don’t go to support their children who play).

We are thankful to Ball Project for participation in our projects. During these years we didn’t have lack of balls and other equipment that were needed for quality coaching. More than that, we had the possibility even to help others children’s teams with balls and equipment helping them to have right and proper approach to coaching children, to see coaching as opportunity to serve kids and impact their lives for future.

We are grateful to our amazing partners in Ukraine & around the world helping children by helping children play.