After a class last week at Virgen del Rosario, Kaitlyn and I opted for a refreshing walk home over a crowded combi ride. As we made our way down the big hill from Ayuda Mutua, football gear slung over our shoulders, we started to talk about how we hope to impact the girls with sport this year and what role we hope to play in their lives as Project Managers.
As you know from previous posts, Kaitlyn and I are tomboys for life; sport always has and always will be a huge part of our daily lives. Having experienced the benefits of sport in so many ways, our most basic hope is that the girls will fall in love with sport as well, so much so that they continue to stay active even after they’ve graduated from the program. At the same time, we realize that sport is merely just a vehicle to reach these girls. On a deeper level, the drills and games are serving the girls with life practice, teaching them how to face challenges and new experiences with courage, be bold, take risks and inspire others to do the same. By participating in the program, we hope that the girls build self-confidence and a strong sense of self. Furthermore, we always work through the activities as a team, teaching the girls how to work with others and showing them why it is important to support one another. Life is filled with ups and downs; the hidden message that we hope our sport classes provide is that by not giving up, these girls will progress through good practical experience and lessons that will carry into their life off the court.
That pretty much sums up the role we hope that sport plays in their lives; as far as the role we hope to play as Project Managers, that is a much more delicate dance that requires us to wear many hats. Sometimes, at the most basic levels, we play the role of disciplinarian. Girls talking during instructions or throwing water during class, someone pushed someone or said something mean; whatever the issue, its up to us to get it resolved and get everyone back to the activity (and happy). We also play the role of a friend and someone they can confide in; many of these girls are dealing with some extremely challenging life issues outside of class so we are there to listen and support them any way we can. We are cheerleaders to build their self-esteem and push them to their limits. And finally, as Project Managers we hope to serve as role models to the young girls, demonstrating positive choice-making, staying committed, being respectful, open-minded, generous, well-rounded, confident and true to ourselves.
It is a one of a kind experience to be a part of a small, low-budget non-profit but despite our size, we pack a mighty big punch. As the weeks fly by, we are living first hand the undeniable impact that our sport classes are having on the lives of the #chicasdinámicas. And that “impact” we speak of, is never one or the same for each chica and regardless of the reason that brings them to class, they are exposed to the benefits of sport and so much more.