2014 has seen some incredible growth within our Academy. Several years ago I developed an Academy called Kix 4 Chix International. As the name suggests for the development of Girls in our Game.
Something I saw lacking was any specific development for girls. I loved what it stood for and I adored the Girls who came along. As I watched those girls develop new skills and a different understanding of the game, I swelled with Pride. Now, Let me reflect back to Christmas Holidays 2013/2014. I travelled from North Queensland to South West Queensland on a road trip that would change our direction forever.
We drove through many little country towns along the way, stopping in many for a drinks break due to the heat. Town after Town in sweltering heat in a car that the AirCon had died in at some stage early in the journey...... Fun times right..... Still we played games and laughed. We stopped and took in the sites. After about the 15th town, I noticed something that got me to thinking. So many young girls pushing prams..... WOW! I was a young mum and as much as I adore my children, I'd never wish that on anyone as young as some of these girls we saw in these rural towns.
They were not just impacting their life but the life of a young man. Surely, we could offer clinics out in these regional places and give these kids and others a chance to change their lives. An opportunity to see the World perhaps. Yep, it was a big dream.....But anyone who knows me well, knows that they are the only dreams I have. So on we travelled. Christmas and New Years was had before heading back the Coastal Road to the North. The Wet Season was well and truly upon us.
We headed off to Sydney for Nationals with a team of kids noone thought had a chance. Long story short. They lost the Grand Final in 50 degree heat after only a 30min break from our Semi. Every one of those kids was selected for Australia. Again, I swelled with Pride. So, fast forward, and we arrive home from our adventure. The dream still fresh in my mind. I discuss it with my Daughter and she thinks it's a great idea. I ring the Removalist and the Real Estate Agent, within 3 days we were on the road to our next big adventure.....
Bringing the Dream to Reality.
We moved into an area where I had lived previously and started making contact with people who I thought would be interested. My old clubs and some friends in the industry. I approached schools and set up free clinics. Just a few kids to start with. And as just 1 person that was plenty to handle alone. I went West..... WAY WEST.... I started running sessions out there. One day I was stopped at a local McDonald's to have a quick bite to eat, when a group of kids came in with a teacher.
They started talking at the table across from me. One of them was talking about soccer and how much he liked to play. They were mucking about pretending to play amongst themselves when they ran into my table. The teacher apologised, and I laughed. I asked the young lad if he really liked the game.
He assured me he did and let me know his Favourite player was Tim Cahill. Hmmmmm, I liked this kid already, Tim also being someone I admire as an Elite Aussie Athlete. We were interrupted by a young lady about 7yrs old. I like it too, she says. So some chatting followed. They advised me that they were from a rural area much further out. Their school having just 10 children..... Which was 2 more than last year! (I was informed by Miss 7) I knew the area, my sister and her hubby had run a Cotton Farm out there many years before. I asked the teacher if she would like/mind if I went out and ran a couple of sessions at the school for the kids, at no charge of course.
She was shocked and told me that would be lovely but it's an awfully long way and most people just don't do that. I assured her I knew how far it was and I wasn't most people. We exchanged numbers and I headed back off to my next session and gave her a call the following day. The next week I headed on the 3hr drive out to this remote little school of 10 children for our first of a handful of sessions. Well we had a ball and I've promised that I'll go back out this Term and do some more.
A few weeks later I was having a conversation with someone who has quite a bit to do with our game. They told me I shouldn't be doing those clinics out there, it was a waste of time and money. I'd never get anymore than 3 kids and it wouldn't be worth it.
Well I took his advise onboard and I continued to run my remote clinics every week free of charge. For several months. We all have to start somewhere, I couldn't expect people to pay me to run an academy for their kids. They had no idea who I was or what I do. I had to prove myself to them.
So much time has passed and now it's late 2014. Suddenly I had a building full of boys ready to sign up for a proper term of Academy...... Well we trained and trained and trained some more. Soon selections came around and imagine my delight when many of my lads were picked. Many parents have asked me is it ok for their child to join my academy if they play for a particular club. My response is always the same.
I don't care who they play for or if they play at all. If it's Futsal or Football, Local league, NPL or any other association. They could just want to come for something to do. I do what I do to give kids an opportunity to see there is more to life than hanging about the streets causing havoc. So the number of kids has grown dramatically.
Hmmmm Kix 4 Chix is not going to do........ Not with so many Boys...... Suddenly Freelance Futsal International is born. WIth the help, support and encouragement from my international coaching buddies we have come up with some fantastic future opportunities for the kids that should cross our path.
Stay tuned for these developments.