|How Right To Play’s Football for Development program helped him become a leader
By Lubna Gharaibeh, Suzan Dababneh & Batool Kreishan
As children, some boys dream of playing football, others dream of leaders. For some, however, both dreams come true, as it did for 19-year-old Muath.
Muath loves to play football and is a member of the Al-Karmel Club Team in Al Husson Camp-Irbid, Jordan. Reserved and timid by nature, Muath would occasionally show up to practice late and lacking enthusiasm. After a while, his coach became concerned about Muath’s apparent lack of commitment to the team.
One day, Right To Play approached the team to propose implementing its Football for Development program, which aims to develop self -awareness, esteem and confidence in youth, as well as other key skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and decision making.
From that day on, everything began to change for Muath. As part of program, he was given the responsibility to develop his own team and implement the same training he received through Right To Play. As a Coach, Muath trained a local team and supervised them in order to pass on the knowledge, skills and values he learned.
It was as though something has magically happened to Muath that caused him to alter his behavior. His coach and peers around him start noticing too. Muath’s love for football grew once he became responsible for a team that would ultimately participate in a tournament with several other Jordanian teams at the end of the year.
Muath made an effort and gathered a team to train. He started showing up regularly to his own practices and showed immense discipline to the club and to Right To Play's values of teamwork and cooperation. Exposure to Right To Play’s sport-specific program provided him with the tools he needed to overcome his shy and reserved nature.
His love for football gave him a sense of strength and responsibility that drove his passion. He became a leader in the club and started showing initiative to solve problems that arose between his peers at the club. Also, he became a role model for the team he trained.
In time, Muath developed his football skills, which earned him a place on the Jordanian club league. At one of the games, the coach of national team was watching and was impressed with his skills and the way he played as part of a team. He approached Muath and asked him if he was interested in joining the national team.
Driven by enthusiasm and with the support of his coach and peers, Muath now divides his time between training as a footballer and mentoring players on his own team.
Right To Play does not develop athletes, we develop leaders. Right To Play gave Muath the chance to rediscover himself and find the power within to pursue his dream, and his behavioral change made him a better person and a young leader in his community.