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Football - the international language

So unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks – you will probably be aware that Russia is currently hosting the world cup! Football, football, football…. If you’re really into it, then I’m sure there’s nothing more you like than a good old ‘name drop’ of all the players you love, admire or perhaps want to criticise for their ‘ludicrous display!’ It really is an international language and when we visit Russia we are often asked if we live near Manchester United!

I have to say though that my thoughts on football are a bit more like this… (IT Crowd, football scene)

Even though I’m not personally a fan, I have to admit, that the world’s most popular game is probably also the world’s number one cross-cultural barrier breaker. For years and years during Love Russia Summer Camps, football has provided hours of play. For those of us with little or no Russian language skills, it is an easy way to communicate, feel part of it all and interact with kids young and old.

More recently, we’ve had the chance to join in with a number of days out for orphans – many of which involve sport. We’ve been along to ice hockey days out and picnics that always end in a game of football. Sport seems to be a great activity for bonding between Mentors and orphans and teaches important life skills like teamwork and controlling emotions.

So, over the next few weeks , every time I hear the roar of the crowd from endless TV coverage, I’ll try to remember the fab opportunity ‘the beautiful game’ provides us with. Laughter and fun as we interact in a language-less, yet communicable activity that brings people from all walks of life together – I never thought I’d hear myself say this but, thank you God for football!

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