It was the first time Matthew Wu Haoyu volunteered at a football tournament for children with and without disabilities.
A volunteer of the AIESEC International participants programme from China, Matthew shared his experience here.
July 26, 2017 was a nice day.
At 8 a.m., the NPNG Sports Centre in Damansara Damai was preparing football matches. That was when we, the Aiesecers, arrived in batches. My batch arrived first, but because we were not familiar with the coaches, we did not help start the events right away. After that, the more experienced batch came and helped set up the matches.
Beneath the sun, there were children with different colors. They gathered together and organized different teams. I remembered the names of many teams with the phrase “red dragon”. I guess it meant great power. Actually, they did showed their great power on the football field. We, volunteers, were the score recorder. When I watched them played football, I saw youth, strength and courage in them. They ran on the football field, sweating, cheering and tearing. The weather was nice but also hot. Each player’s face was covered with soybean-like beads of sweat. They were different in stature, some were tall, some were short, some were fat, some were thin. However, regardless of the stature, they all ran fast without any hesitation when the team needed them. When the team — “Red Dragon All Star” scored, their players cheered for awhile and jumped back to defend again. I still remembered many of the players fell down many times, but each time they fall, they did not cry. Instead, they got up quickly and rushed for the game again.
At noon, we had a break. The young players and volunteers had lunch together in a canteen near the playground. I never ate that kind of food before, but in my country, we also have milk tea and ice tea. I ordered one cup of ice tea and it tasted so good that I forgot about the heat of the day.
There were three football fields with about 10 people among us, so we took turns recording the scores. Our team were a united team. We cared about each other and the boys tended to do more work, but the girls were really great. They almost took care of all the recording work on the points in the third field.
People may say it is boring to record the scores, but they were never there and as such they could not feel and understand what we have experienced. When we were resting, we met with the kids who were obviously jubilant. I think they were singing their folk songs and one of the players was beating the drum, but the drum was actually a small chair. Their chorus was jumbled in neat tones with a light and passionate rhythm. I recorded the moments as a short film. It will definitely be a precious memory of my life.
At 4 p.m., all the matches were finished. Our backs were soaked in sweat. You might thought that it was not comfortable. You are right. I was not comfortable and also really tired but no efforts, no returns. After today’s work, I learned a lot about children, their passion and their energy.
In conclusion, I want to thank all my friends and all the people who contributed to this event. Only with their help could we managed it well.