Written by: Randy Edem Amezado

I am Randy Edem Amezado, the Head Coach of the Ball & Brain Project, I am thrilled to share an incredible journey on the Ball & Brain Project. The project began with three dedicated young coaches—myself, David, and Paul —bound by a profound love for football and a shared commitment to making a positive impact on our community. Inspired by the principles of the Fafali organization’s Honey Method, The aim was not just to engage kids after school to play football but to create a safe and nurturing space where they could be truly understood and attended to.

As the project unfolded, our connection with the children deepened, and we discovered hidden stories within our community. Many of these kids, often the first generation in their families to attend school, faced significant challenges. Fueled by a commitment to understand them better, I took an extra step by visiting their homes and interacting with parents. Shockingly, a visibility study by Fafali organization where I serve as a volunteer revealed that 80% of the kids were at risk of dropping out of school due to reading difficulties.

Coaching duties during one of our matchdays

In response, Fafali Organization thought it wise that the project should evolve. They introduced literacy classes to empower the children to read and spell basic words. Simultaneously, we honed our coaching skills to maintain a high standard of training and professionalism.

The project became a sanctuary for boys initially struggling academically, gradually transforming into a beacon of hope. Our genuine efforts resonated with the community, resulting in an increasing number of boys joining us daily. This remarkable achievement also inspired the creation of a female team, serving as a case study for the positive impact of our program on empowering young athletes regardless of gender.

Remarkable successes followed, with a 100% record of all participants progressing to school. Students from our project secured places in prestigious high schools in Ghana, such as Achimota SHS, Aggrey Memorial SHS, Kumasi High School, St Peters SHS, Mawuli SHS, and more.

Among our many success stories, Morris Dogbe stands out. Rising from being a dropout, he excelled academically and became a sports prefect. His talent was recognized, leading to recruitment to St Johns Grammar SHS. Similarly, Bright Anane was also scouted for his academic and athletic prowess, securing a spot in the same high school. Michael Anane, displaying leadership qualities, went on to captain his senior high school.

Sena Amezado, demonstrating leadership skills, became the senior boys’ prefect for his JHS, while Ishmael Attiah achieved an impressive Grade 15, the second-best in his JHS, before transitioning to senior high school.

The project reached a turning point when UEFA License coaches joined forces for the “Coach the Coaches” course, empowering local coaches to be catalysts for change in their communities. Satya, a UEFA License coach, played a pivotal role by contributing a methodology plan and restructuring the training plan for the kids.

My team of coaches and players from our under-17 team

The transformative impact of the Ball & Brain Project became evident as the kids’ talents flourished, capturing the attention of European clubs offering trial opportunities. My dedication also paid off by getting a push from some volunteers and Fafali organization in attaining a UEFA C license through the Scottish FA, marking the project’s evolution from a passionate endeavor to a full-fledged profession.
Ultimately, the Ball & Brain Project represents a remarkable transition from passion to profession, demonstrating how sports can uplift and empower communities. It has evolved into a catalyst for transformation and empowerment, vividly illustrating the incredible journey from heartfelt dedication to a full-fledged profession. The project emphasizes the profound impact that sports can have in uplifting and empowering communities.

The multitude of kids I engage on weekly basis

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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