The Power and Ability of the Soccer Ball
This round shape object brings and means so much into in my life. That object is a soccer ball. Any soccer ball in general. Its always there for me, on my ups and downs a soccer ball seems to always help me get through those rough days. But today we are going to view the power and ability the soccer ball has to bring happiness to those suffering from poverty and how it helps fight poverty. And also how it can create an identity for someone. The way to use this object is obviously pretty simple; you kick it with your foot. Originally the actual word for soccer is ‘football’. “The word “soccer” is actually British. It derives from the game’s proper name, association football, with the “soc” bit taken from the word “association” (Eurosport). Makes sense why it would be football right? Other than just kicking it with your foot and using your head you also have to put your mind to it, you have to know where your going to hit to, how are you going to hit it, and how hard your going to hit. Having a great mentality plays a big role when this type of object is involved. I strongly believe that a simple soccer ball can bring lots of joy and happiness to the less fortunate suffering from poverty, as well as way to fight poverty and strive for bigger things in life.
The idea of a soccer ball started back in the Han Dynasties times (255 BC-220 AD), so if you do the math incorrectly its close to a million years ago. The ball came into play when the Chinese played a game called ‘tsu chu’, which is similar to soccer. They first used to kick a skull around, sounds scary isn’t it? But according to this article,
“ A medieval custom was to take pig bladders used from live stock killed in preparation for winter sustenance and inflate them”(Rigsby),
where later on they improved stability and shape with leather. It wasn’t until 1862 where H. J. Lindon “developed an inflatable rubber bladder”(Soccer Ball History). This helped it better shape the ball and made much easier for the ball to move the way its when you kick it. As you can tell it all started about almost a million years ago, during the medieval times and it improved as people found the way on how the ball could be improved in a beneficial way.
Through out the article “The History of the Ball” by Bruce Rigsby, he elaborates and identifies different balls as they changed over the years. He goes off by identifying and explaining the new specs the new balls were bringing to the world. Rigsby also details on how each new ball was created for greater satisfactory for the athletes, creating new identities for every new ball developed over the years. Similar to how the author (Rigsby) gave an identity for each ball by telling the history behind it, a soccer ball also tells a meaningful history behind my life creating a special and unique identity for myself. For example, Rigsby tells us the new improvements of the 1930 World Cup Soccer Ball of “Tiento”, constructing a new identity to the world. Alike to a soccer ball I own or any in general, I could tell memories and history behind it can develop an identity that over the time soccer has given me. There have been some soccer players with very famous identities in the history of soccer and it all began with a soccer ball on their feet. So I believe that a simple soccer ball can help construct a very meaningful identity by being able to know how to play soccer, some more than others.
Soccer is one of the most recognizable and popular sports around the world, but more in those poverty areas like Africa or Brazil where there are kids living with the bare minimum. In those areas kids don’t have a whole lot to do, it could because they don’t have much as well, they might not have a real soccer ball but they usually use plastic bottles or wrap plastic bags together to improvise from not having a soccer ball. This fills the kids with joy and happiness and it also unifies the people by bringing the community together.
“It pleases us and unifies us”- Abubakari Abdul-Ganiyu (Berlin).
Playing with a soccer ball gives them something to do and helps them forget about the conditions they are living on.
“ It is the passion for everyone here… The moment there is a match, we throw away all our quarrels”- Abubakari Abdul-Ganiyu (Berlin),
says a man from Africa who was being interviewed by National Geography on how life and soccer was like in his town. Most of these kids are grateful for what they have and very passionate about the sport as it lightens up their days when coming together to play soccer.
Like I mentioned before, I strongly feel that a soccer ball can help fight poverty and encourage kids to strive for bigger things. Most of these kids are suffering from poverty, not having the two to three meals a deal like a lot of people, not having clean water, and only a small amount of jobs around them. In these areas there are some serious talented people with skills that can be put to use in the bigger leagues but there is no way to be seen. Some places are very lucky though, for example in Brazil there are some places where soccer matches are held that are being watched by professional coaches looking for these talented young kids. Those who have great talent usually are picked and taken into the bigger leagues for a possibility for bigger things in their life. For example, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, and Pele are some big names in soccer history.
These professional athletes all started from the bottom, they fought poverty and strived for bigger things and they were eventually able to overcome obstacles to get to where they are now. This is the reason why I believe a soccer ball has the power and ability to help fight poverty and strive for bigger things because it has been done before, not just by those players but by many more as well.
Overall, such object like a soccer ball, to me, has so much behind it that it can create an identity for you. Something so simple has the power and ability to bring more than just the ability to play soccer, to fight, strive, and forget poverty. It doesn’t matter how big or how small something is, it could bring so much, from it being able to define you and construct a identity that your known for by those around you, to bringing happiness and joy to the less fortunate suffering from poverty.
Rigsby, Bruce. “The History of the Soccer Ball.” History. Bruce Rigsby, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.
“Soccer Ball History | Epic Sports.” Epic Sports. Epic Sports, Inc., 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.
EuroSport. “Mystery Solved: Don’t Blame the Americans! The Real Origin of the Word ‘soccer’.” EuroSport. Yahoo! Sport, 15 June 2014. Web. 29 Apr.
2015“20 Amazing Soccer Facts Most American Sports Fans Don’t Know.” Medium. SportsPickle, 08 Mar. 2015. Web. 05 May 2015.
“Soccer Joy.” — Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine. Jeremy Berlin, Feb. 2013. Web. 08 June 2015. <http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/02/soccer-joy/berlin-text>.
photo by Daniel Bachhuber