Lessons from the Soccer World Cup

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 91 –  28th June 2010

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Lessons from the Soccer World Cup

The world seems to have stopped for the World Cup.  No other event seems to quite capture the imaginations of everyone the world over in quite the same way.  Here is a video clip ‘Bafana – Khutala Bo‘ which shows the excitement in South Africa in the lead-up.  You may have seen it already.  If not, play it in the background while you do something else (it goes for about 4 minutes) and be inspired.

The catchy lyrics are actually quite inspirational, not only for a soccer team but for anyone in any stage of life.  Look behind the lyrics and maybe talk to your children about what the lyrics mean to them, not just to the South African soccer team –

“You gotta play with fire and you gotta raise a storm,
try a little harder, give a little more,
fight until it’s over, fight until the war is won
…..the world is gathered at your door
When it’s time to face the thunder, to dig deeper than your roots
If the ball is like a volley you must put lightning in your boots….”

The lyrics above can be a metaphor for anything we want to achieve.  They are certainly not limited to this event.  We can indeed learn a lot from sport, and especially the World Cup.  We can learn about the importance of leadership, of teamwork, of having worthwhile goals, of aspiring to something beyond yourself, of fun and camaraderie, of fitness and health, and finally, the sense of achievement, irrespective of whether we win or lose.  Above all, we learn about the importance of having support in our endeavours.

If you haven’t seen the movie ‘Invictus’ yet, I recommend you get a hold of a copy and enjoy its message.  The movie was based on the book ‘Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and he Game that Made a Nation‘ by John Carlin.  It is very ‘Hollywood’ but it does show what can be achieved, even politically, when a nation unites in order to support their beloved team.  With support, even a bottom-ranked team can achieve the World Cup.  There is a classic line at the end of the movie when the team wins and Mandela congratulates the captain saying that the country is behind him.  His response is that the whole of Africa is behind him.  Throughout the movie, Mandela quotes from the poem Invictus ‘I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul’.  If you have this belief, you are invincible, on the soccer field and in life.

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Quote of the Week

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”
~ Sigmund Freud



Bafana video clip in case you missed it earlier.  Enjoy!  Lessons from the Soccer World Cup


“I was playing the CD fairly quietly in the background while we did some table top activities such as play dough, rubber stamps, pegs etc. yesterday and it seemed to focus my 2.5 little boy who had not been very responsive to participating and compliant with the motor stuff before.

They are really fantastic tools and I use them constantly.  Sometimes I put them on before (for me) or just when my kids come into the room to create a friendly and warm atmosphere.  Most love it.  I don’t always continue with the whole CD – depending on the child but it is very versatile and you can adapt it to yours (and their) needs.

Oh, they are great!”

~ Hazel Nicol – Paediatric OT, Perth

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E: info@kidzfizbiz.com

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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