The Underdogs

The stereotype that schools with strong academics struggle with athletics holds true for Royal Kids School. All of today was devoted to several sporting events between Royal Kids and four other primary schools in Mikindani. As you can see from the picture, our football boys (in the green and yellow jerseys) struggled to keep a good distance from each other on the field to keep possession of the ball. Although our boys and girls did not win a single event in football, netball, and volleyball, all the students enjoyed cheering on their classmates and mingling with students from other schools.

The Royal Kids netball team (on the left) watched the coin toss. The netball ref, in the white, was super strict. Many of the girls on the sidelines complained about the ref’s “bad heart.” No need to report on the score here. But the class six, seven, and eight girls enjoyed cheering by shouting “No” and “Yes” depending on how the game was going.

Back at the football field, the boys on the team prepped themselves while other students kept themselves entertained. The boys who had athletic shoes, such as Joseph, quickly laced them. Boys without shoes, wrapped their feet before putting on their socks. All the students have leather shoes as part of their uniform. But they can’t use those during games, since those shoes need to last a long time. Arif, above, helped wrap up another boys’ feet.

These Class 6 boys were very proud of their responsibility as “First Aiders.” They carried the bandages and gauze the football boys used to wrap their feet.

Teacher Mambo, an upper level science teacher, juggled the ball with other students as they waited for the game to begin. Iftu, the girl in the yellow shirt on the right, is a recent arrival at Royal Kids. She comes from Ethiopia, and she impressed everyone with her juggling skills. The boys kept mumbling that she was a “footballer.”

Pious kept himself entertained with a home-made football. It’s made from plastic bags and twine.

I had to include this picture with today’s post. Goats are everywhere in Mikindani. And as the boys played football, they had to contend with a goat munching on a patch of grass.

So Royal Kids didn’t want any of the matches today. But it was a great time to chat and goof off with the students and teachers.

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