Friday , April 19 2024

VfB Stuttgart U-12s make Ghana trip!

VfB Stuttgart Under-12 team have been taking part in a social project in Ghana. The youngsters enjoyed an unforgettable week in Kokrobite, returning home with valuable lessons and experiences.

VfB Stuttgart’s U-12 team have returned from their trip to Ghana, tired but full of memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. During their eight-day stay in the coastal town of Kokrobite, the youngsters worked hard, learned about Ghanaian culture and made great strides in their personal development which will stand them in good stead for a long time to come.

“We obviously played football too,” said U-12 coach Tim Kirk, who explained that the team’s main focus lay elsewhere. “The boys filled lots of plastic bottles with sand and used them to build aquaponic tanks.” These large water containers are not only used as water storage for growing food in raised beds, but for fish farming too. Old plastic bottles are filled with sand, stacked in a large circle and bound together with concrete to create aquaponic tanks, making Kokrobite less dependent on overfished coastal areas and enabling locals to grow plenty of food themselves.

The team’s efforts at the Kokrobite Children Center, the local education facility, also formed a major part of their visit. Helped by the children from centre, the boys organised games and planned lessons in English. “My personal highlight was the interaction between the kids,” said Kirk. “Not that our boys taught the other kids a lot. On the contrary, we learned a lot from them.”

The players also visited Cape Coast Castle, a coastal fortress and UNESCO World Heritage Site where slaves were sentenced, imprisoned and traded for hundreds of years during colonial times. The visit gave the boys the opportunity to learn about the history of slavery at first hand.

All these activities were designed to aid the kids in their personal development. “The boys have footballing talent, otherwise they wouldn’t be playing for us,” said Kirk. “But whether they can fulfil their potential and succeed at the highest level depends on their characters – and this trip was a test of character.”

One of the main objectives was to teach them the value of resilience and responsibility. “It’s about much more than just football,” Kirk continued. “What the boys have learned in this project will stay with them their whole lives – and not just on the football pitch. They now know they can become even more independent and take on more responsibility. And that’s what they want now, because they’ve seen and experienced for themselves how to do it. The kids in Ghana are role models in that respect.”

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