Archive for the ‘soccer’ Category

ESPN Article About Right to Dream Soccer Academy in Tamale

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

ESPN has published an article about the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana, where kids are recruited for their soccer skills and given scholarships and opportunity.  The article mentions tryouts in Tamale, which is abbout 200 miles north of Techiman , where our school is. Here is a link to the article.

Lehigh University Posts Article About The Soccer Program

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Lehigh University has posted a short write-up about the school and the soccer program Dan Ochs started.  If you are interested in reading it, click here!

Organized Soccer is Coming to Sierra Leone

Monday, May 12th, 2008

The Times online is reporting that English soccer player Craig Bellamy is investing his own money to start a soccer program in Sierra Leone that could help more than 80,000 children. See the article and the non-profit website.  Also involved with the project for initial scouting and feasibility studies is Tom Vernon from the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana.

Africa Cup of Nations Opening Match, Ghana vs Guinea

Monday, January 28th, 2008

During our trip to Ghana, we were lucky enough to catch the opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations. We drove as close to the stadium as we could and luckily were able to park at a tennis club about a half mile away. We tried in vain to find tickets through the approved outlets such as the Ghana Commercial Bank and the post office, but none of them had tickets, so we went to the stadium ticketless and had to scalp them. We paid $35 per ticket for a $4 ticket but it was worth it for a once in a lifetime experience.

Outside of the brand new stadium there was a big crowd and you could buy alcohol and other items like branded shirts and flags. Inside the stadium was a pretty big party, with parades of people and everyone clapping and cheering. The loudspeakers in the stadium were not loud enough to be heard over the crowd.

The opening ceremonies represented of a lot of different ethnic groups performing various drumming and dancing, but unfortunately we couldn’t hear much over the crowd. I believe it was created by the University of Ghana and other professional dancers and performers. It ended with the Ghanian flag made from people holding umbrellas over their heads and a flyby from a helicopter also holding the flag.

One of the highlights of the match was the crowd. Sitting about 10 seats away from us, also in the cheap seats, was the ex-president of Ghana, JJ Rawlings. He caused quite a commotion and people surrounded him for pictures and autographs when he first arrived. The police later cleared the crowd and JJ got to enjoy the game like the rest of us.

The match was a good one, with the crowd drumming through the whole thing. Ghana beat Guinea 2-1 in the last few minutes of the game from a goal by star Michael Essien. Here is a gallery we created that contains a lot of images from the match and another page with some video clips, enjoy!

Africa Cup of Nations Opening Match Videos, Ghana vs Guinea

Monday, January 28th, 2008

These drums were being played for most of the match, unfortunately the bass isn’t captured very well in this clip, but the sound was great!

This is before the match even started!

Africa Cup of Nations Opening Match Gallery, Ghana vs Guinea

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Football (Soccer for Americans) at the School

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Some of the major donations we received for this trip were soccer equipment from various places. So now would be a good time to thank the Los Angeles Police Department, my cousins, the doctor that gave me my vaccinations before the trip and the Lehigh University Men’s Soccer Team.

There were two training sessions a day. The kids have never had so many balls before so they were very excited. We tried to restrict the kids playing to about 2 kids per one ball so that everyone has something to do and not just stand around. We also tried to limit the number of kids to 20 per session, but that was difficult. The kids were all very skilled, but had never done a drill before. We tried to teach them to use all the surfaces of their feet, how to pass and a little bit of how to defend. Most of the drills were given to us by the coaches at Lehigh.

At the end of the week we brought out the uniforms and pinnys and had a student vs teacher soccer game. One of the volunteers played for the students during the first half and coached the kids, and one of the other volunteers was the referee. The teachers won 4-1 and it was interesting because they definitely didn’t give the kids any slack. The substitute kids in the second half were quite smaller than the ones in the first half, so the teachers has a distinct size advantage.

We are trying to get the teachers to continue the coaching the students by creating an after school program. The drills will be documented and the school found a good website for coaching kids. Hopefully they will run similar training sessions and the kids can continue to play their favorite sport. There is a gallery of soccer pictures and a quick video of the match.

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