This summer, thanks to Centennial College I had the life-changing opportunity to experience the World Cup on a whole new level through an experience in Ghana as a Centennial College student. I went as part of a group of six Nursing and eight Early Childhood Education students during a Global Citizenship and Equity Learning Experience (GCELE). While working on community development initiatives in education and health, our group lead an activity focused on development of children through sport and soccer’s role in global culture. We also had the chance to bond with the local community while watching Ghana’s world cup matches.
“Chance of a life time to be in Ghana for Ghana VS. USA FIFA soccer game, and against Germany while in the airport on our way there. It was a thrill to share and experience in the historic moment with the Ghanaians, especially to see how passionate they are about their ‘football’.” — Samara Briffa, Early Childhood Education (ECE) Student, Centennial College
Soccer – a global sport where the world meets on the field. The World Cup has the power to unite humanity across race, religion, age and gender. Soccer is a sport where passion is embodied by the players and the fans. Through my experience with Centennial College I had the chance to see how the events of the World Cup can change anyone’s life, even without being at the stadium and watching the game in person. When Ghana played USA I realized that no matter how rich or poor you were, you paused your whole day to watch one game; everyone united and celebrating as one, becoming friends and sharing the sport of soccer. The passion for soccer runs so deep that during my time in the Ghanaian and German airports I noticed my fellow travelers risking missing their flights just to catch the final seconds of the match. Although airports can be lonely places, in these moments it did not matter which team you were cheering for, or if you knew the person next to you. All that mattered was that you both shared the same interest and passion for the game.
The most touching experience for me was seeing the Ghanaian youth enjoying the game of soccer; the way their faces light up when they kick a soccer ball, their smiles when sharing soccer stories and skills with our group of Centennial students, how emotional they would get when we would say Ghana had a really good team this year in the World Cup.
I have played soccer since the age of five. To me soccer is about more than winning or losing – it is about enjoying the game, making new friends and experiencing what the sport is all about. My experience in Ghana has affirmed this belief even more. The World Cup is always an event to be remembered, full of celebration, no matter where you are.
“It was such a colourful display, and showed the pride of a country as the Ghanaian children supported their National Team. The atmosphere was magnetic and I felt compelled to cheer with them.” — Lilian Moodie-Thomas, ECE Student, Centennial College
Check out these photos of Centennial’s international students watching the matches together: