We’re introducing a new project in a new area. Floor hockey has come to Jalal-abad. While people all over Kyrgyzstan have always played football (soccer), this sport (recently imported from Switzerland) is developing teamwork and leadership in schools and neighborhoods in Jalal-abad.
Floor hockey, which is played on an indoor field, uses hockey sticks and a light plastic ball. While football, especially here in Kyrgyzstan, can be dominated by a single excellent player, excellence in floor hockey can only be achieved by players working together to score.
Swiss trainers Rafael and Nathaniel teach the basics of the game and teamwork. They are also looking for local young men to develop both as trainers for the sport and in the values of teamwork and good sportsmanship. “Farhat” started working with the staff in this capacity. He moved from watching the games, to coaching for an hour or so, to being a referee. Farhat was required to play once a week in the men’s league in order to qualify as a trainer at the 4 schools where the project is being developed.
Farhat has exhibited growth himself. Recently while he was officiating a match, a player became angry and swore at Farhat. Rather than reacting in anger and shaming the player, Farhat took the player aside and calmed the young man down. Farhat said that he was modeling the behavior he learned from the staff.
Sadly, Farhat’s family is requiring him to leave this post and work at a better paying job. Raphael and Nathaniel are continuing to look for young men to impart these values to and to help develop the community through sport.