- Steve Sider
- I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.
Friday, May 9, 2014
The Soccer Games of Pignon, Haiti
Soccer in Haiti is one of the most popular sports here. Everyday kids start playing anywhere they can find even if its on dirt or tarmac. Today and yesterday were one of the most exciting soccer games I have ever been apart of.
Yesterday we had just pumped up a couple of balls and started heading to the dirty field. Behind the bamboo soccer posts there was a massive mountain (Mt. Pignon). I didn't even know if I was going to play soccer or just enjoy the view. Once we stepped on the field a crowd of Haitian kids started walking over. Some even had cleats and socks on. When they entered the field I knew right away that these kids were going to blow past me in the game.
Once we were warmed up it was time to pick teams. It turned out to be the Haitian kids versus the "Blanc" (whites or "outsiders" in french). They started with the ball for the first half and right away I knew that we were going to get schooled. Their foot work was incredible and all of us could see that some of these kids could make the national team in a couple years. With fast paced action and pace the final score came to be Hatian kids 10, Blancs 3. Yeah, you could say it was pretty hard.
Today was just as good as yesterday. But it was a little different as we played at a basketball court at the school and I was the only white boy playing. As we started playing I knew that this was going to be a close game. The teams were split up to be that it was blue and red, which was my team, versus peach shirts. They started with the ball and right away they got a shot off, but it was to easy for our 15 year old goaltender. The goalie rolled the ball to me and I passed it off to my teammate and he shot but it just soared over the net. Once the goalie came back with the ball he looked at the opposing team player and passed it to him. I moved to my left right away and immediately stole the ball. I was on a breakaway! I aimed for the corners and let my feet do the rest. I saw the ball soar through the humid air but I also saw the goalie move over to make an amazing save, but the ball went out to be a corner kick. All the opposing players went over to congratulate their keeper.
My teammate set the ball up for a corner and I moved from the back of the court right into the middle of the key. The teammate passed the ball to me and I kicked it as hard as I could. The goalie dived again but it was no use for my speedy shot. It soared right under the crossbar and it flew into the net! My teammates all started cheering and came over to give me a high five. The final score between the two teams was blue and red 4, peach 3.
Right now we are just sitting and waiting for the kids to finish their school days and play with them again soon.
CJ Sider, 13 years old