Motivational Monday - FYP Futbol Fest
It’s been a month since our first Futbol Fest opened the gate for the people of Richmond. The sound of laughter and curiousness still echo inside of me as I am sitting here and trying to pour my experience of this event on a piece of paper. Usually I’m good at that, making a text come to life with my words and make you as a reader almost feel like you were there with me. But this time it’s hard. Difficult to re-experience something that I was so caught up in the moment with. I think those are the most beautiful moments in a sense, because my experience is different from anyone else’s during this event. But something I think everyone can agree on is that it created an atmosphere beyond the sport. It felt like a lifestyle, and somehow I, finally, started to understand the meaning behind this beautiful game.
Soccer is a way of connecting with people on a level where popularity, living situation, culture, and politics is left somewhere between the parking lot and the sideline. On the field, nothing like that is relevant. It’s just you and the surrounding ones with the same passion and love for the game. However, sometimes even that mentality gets washed out. The rules change and in the western culture, the meaning of soccer has gone from plural form to singular – just a sport. Somehow, the all around vibe of this beautiful game has started to be colored inside the lines and the result in the end of a game are more important than the atmosphere during it.
Launching the FYP Futbol Fest took a lot of hard work, and a bunch of people believing in the concept. Lauryn and the rest of the team poured their heart and soul into the simple belief that soccer shouldn’t just be a sport but rather a lifestyle. To witness that seed being planted to grow up expressing an idea, that later transformed into an event was overwhelmingly emotional. People in all ages experienced different aspects of this beautiful sport most of us refer as being one of the biggest part of our lives. This festival was a unique collaboration between art, rhythm, and passion and when I was looking around me all the different faces blended into one big smile.Growing up there was always this desire to become someone well-known, like Ronaldinho or Mia Ham for example. But somewhere along the way I kind of forgot why I kept on playing. The fixation of succeeding was bigger than the passion for the game and I grew furthered and further away from the love I once had. Now, a couple of years later I am standing in the middle of the Sport Center of Richmond watching kids running around playing with their balls while also dancing to the rhythm that is flowing out from the speakers. I see parents smiling at their kids while they go up and down the slides on a repeat and I see the adult league participants talking to each other and comparing jerseys while watching the world cup together. There is this connection I had longed for a while. The bond that says that no matter where you’re from or who you are – Soccer will always be the common denominator.
I hope the FYP Futbol Fest will make more people understand the value and gratefulness being a part of something bigger than you, that the seed that got planted will continue to grow and spread its message. Succeeding is one thing, but to nurture and keep your passion for the sport is invaluable.