How I found the joy in football without learning the rules….
I am the only female in our home of 6 including our precious boston terrier Bruce, so needless to say I am outnumbered. I often try to talk the boys into an episode or 2 of my much loved Friends, Will and Grace or a girlie movie but they rarely fall for it and more often than not football is the chosen choice of entertainment, watching it, re-watching it, playing it or talking about it over and over.
I am yet to understand the rules of a football match although I do try and you wouldn’t catch me ever playing a game of football (although I know women’s football is exceptional) but a few years ago I chose to embrace the sport and my boys love for it. I did this when I saw the enthusiasm and the life lessons start to present themselves almost weekly.
My eldest son Mitchell has just finished his season, making it all the way to the grand final and giving a valiant effort right to the end. I watched in awe at my first-born child who was nervous to do anything outside of his comfort zone prior to finding his love for the game a few years ago. I saw a confident soon to be young man sharing a rite of passage with a team who he now calls his best mates. A group of boys who are all different and wonderful in their own way, come together and share a common goal and yes to win is the aim of the game but when things didn’t go our way, I saw boys hugging and supporting each other and congratulating the winners so whilst I was disappointed they couldn’t get the gold medal yesterday, I most certainly felt like I was winning.
It is with thanks to an exceptional couple of men who give up their time to mentor our boys and what I have found is that the lessons our boys have learnt are not just for the footy field but for life. Mitchell has gained confidence, learnt respect and the meaning of mateship, resilience, determination, dedication and the need to communicate just to name a few and for this I will be forever grateful.
Sport unites people and for our children it offers opportunities for emotional, mental and social growth in addition to the physical benefits so if you have a child showing interest in sport, find a team and if you are as lucky as we are, you will find a group of great friends too.