- Zoe loves soccer! She fell in love with the sport when she was only 3 years old. Painfully shy then, I would sit with her during soccer sessions and even run alongside her when she does her drills. It was frustrating for me that it took so long for Zoe to warm up but, eventually, warm up she did. Now that she’s 5, I just watch by the sideline as she and her friends do the drills and play the scrimmages. She has improved a lot and can now dribble the ball with more ease. Soccer has done so much for her self-esteem and she always looks forward to it. She has now made friends with her soccer buddies and understands teamwork and hard play.
Her coach’s text that Zoe was selected to be part of Futbol Funatics’ team for those 6 years and under for the 15th Alaska Football Cup came as a pleasant surprise. Of course, we would be there, even if it meant we had to wake up before 6 AM (something really hard for me to do!), and of course, Zoe wouldn’t miss it for the world.
When we got to Alabang Country Club, we were greeted by an enormous field and hundreds of kids wearing their respective soccer jerseys. It was a very welcoming site indeed. The mood was festive and I can tell that Zoe was excited. We headed to Futbol Funatics’ tent where most of Zoe’s teammates were waiting. After a few more minutes, all the players were told to assemble for the opening ceremonies. Seeing Zoe lined up with all the other players there just made me feel so happy.
They had five games for the day. They won the first game, 2-0, lost the second and third games, tied the fourth, and lost their fifth game. They did not make it to the finals but it didn’t matter. The kids had a blast! This tournament was actually the kids’ first time to play as a team. It was Zoe’s first time to even meet her other teammates, who were probably attending their soccer sessions elsewhere (Zoe’s attending at Tahanan Village in Pque but I know Futbol Funatics has venues in Alabang, Makati, and Pasig).
What mattered was the kids gave their all and put their heart and mind to each game. I felt proud watching Zoe running in the field. My heart would stop every time the ball would almost make a goal or each time their team would have the ball. Zoe wowed me when she would hussle and try to get the ball from the other team, and when she would fall and get up again like nothing happened. Indeed, she’s gone a long way from that shy 3-year-old and I can’t help but be one proud momma.