MANAGUA – The sports centre that hosts us in Nicaragua is getting ready for the 2017 Central American Games. At the end of the year, the pitch we play on could see matches between the likes of Guatemala, Costa Rica, Belize and Panama. The children know it and it makes them feel important.
There’s a lot of activity going on around the pitch – people at work, engineers carrying out inspections and visits from various institutions – but that doesn’t stop the children from playing sport. As we ventured into the corridors and rooms we last visited just six months ago, we saw kids doing athletics, long jump, boxing and fencing.
We met the Inter Campus group again too of course, albeit with a few extra centimetres on them. They hugged us as we approached and asked us to repeat the same exercises we did with them last time we were here. They’re a good bunch of kids and together with their coaches they follow our instructions with great interest and passion.
We also met FIFA representatives keeping an eye on progress. We spoke to them about the importance of bringing sport together with social activities and exchanged ideas about various initiatives we could undertake by combining our efforts. Later we discussed the same topics with the Minister for Sport, whose office sits just a few yards from the pitch.
We’re at the heart of a strong team made up of institutions, coaches, children and sport. And in a country where football’s popularity is only just starting to grow, Inter Campus, with its conscientious methods focusing on the children’s development and enjoyment, can have an important role to play.