In ‘Meet the coaches’ we present the true heroes of Hockey Dreams. The coaches combine education and coaching to strengthen both themselves and their communities. These ambitious and driven youngsters are ready to make their mark on the world. Today we have Godfrey taking over. He talks about his introduction to football and hockey, his future plans, and on how hockey has helped him to both set and achieve his goals. A story about determination.
My name is Lwando Godfrey and I live in Lusaka, Zambia. I was born on the 6th of March of 2000 in a family of five of which I am the fourth born. We were raised by a single mother from the moment she seperated from my father.
I am one of the Hockey Dreams Coaches and in 2018 I joined the organisation. This year I am doing my grade 12 and I am preparing for my high school exams in November. Hockey Dreams and its family are the ones that took me back into school despite the financial problems we were facing as a family. Besides being a Hockey Dreams Coach, I am also a hockey player and team captain at Springfields Hockey Club.
Joining the world of sports
My favorite sports have always been hockey and football. I played football at my school from grade 1 until 7 (from 2004 until 2013) but then I passed up going to secondary school and therefore I was left out of any football games. I was very unhappy because all of my friends were going to school at that point. Therefore, in 2015, I fully committed to my other favourite sport and tried to achieve my personal goals throughout hockey.
In 2016 I started playing hockey at the Olympic Youth Development Center (OYDC) in Lusaka, Zambia. I had trained on a serious level only for a year but I was motivated because I had a gap to fill as I had no school. It was here that I made a team for girls and boys under the age of 12. I did not have the equipment to properly coach the kids and therefore sent a letter to Hockey Dreams Foundation in Zambia. Lucky for me my friend Kelvin was one of the Hockey Dreams Coaches and so during his project he gave me both equipment and guidance on the field.
A year passed and in 2017 and 2018 I played with my team in the Tuelings Hockey League Games in which I became champion with both the girls and boys under 12 – both categories. That was the moment I came to the realisation that with true persistence and hard work I can achieve my goals through hockey. I applied for Hockey Dreams Foundation and I did well in its interviews; therefore it did not take long before I was sent back to school with its help.
This has been my greatest achievement and perhaps my greatest day ever. I am attending school without having to spend any of my pocket money. Hockey Dreams Foundation did everything for me until now and I am very happy to see myself back at school.
School and education
My mother is the reason that I have ever gone this far because she stood up for me and encouraged me a lot. Hockey Dreams did not have to twink twice to accept me as one of them. I was shocked and I would not have thought I would ever have become in touch with them. It is my responsibility to work hard at school and not just to hear the latest things on what is on. I am building things and expanding my brain capacity so that what I have planned for my future comes to pass.
I am attending the Matero Secondary School in Lusaka and my school is 7.3 kilometers away from the place I am staying – in the Zanimuone area. I am working hard for school because this course I am following requires a lot of attention: it is on medicine and its science. It is my favourite course because I like helping people; especially helping in hockey tournaments because here in Zambia there are not many qualified doctors to attend first aid and so I would like to give a hand in that particular area too.
I have my classmates who I really love because they really help me out with the subjects that I have difficulties with. Especially mathematics, which previously was a big challenge for me but now I can manage with help from my classmates. At my school we have seven subjects to learn: English, mathematics, science, biology, music, religious education and civic education. We have four or five subjects a day from 7:10 a.m until 12:45 p.m. My favorite subjects are English, science and biology.
We are with fifty in our class: 25 girls and 25 boys. I am really happy with my classmates because all participate well, especially during classes. At my school each class of students has seven teachers and I have three favorites: Mr Mununga, the religious- and science teacher, Mr Michelob, the biology teacher, and Mrs Mvula, the English teacher. I love them because they do not skip classes, they chat with us during our lessons, they teach well and their speech is absolutely beautiful. They took us like their own children and I enjoy their classes a lot.
Looking at the future
Looking at my condition and situation from my own perspective, – how I am adjusting to school and such -, I am confident seeing myself working in an office and even building my own hockey team in a few years from now. What I do is right and I am being honest to my goals. My goal is to become both doctor and coach in the future. My main goal as a Hockey Dreams Coach is to change both my own future and my community’s future for good. Also, to let all the kids and my friends stay away from criminal activities and help girls from having early marriages. Coaching both girls and boys can make the difference.
The person I really admire the most is my mother because she has proven to me that the only thing that can let you be a good person or a good leader is discipline. If you do not have discipline people distance themselves and that can lead you chasing for what was already in your reach. She also stood up for me, a lot more than anyone else, and that is why I really love her a lot. Despite her being uneducated, she truly knows the meaning of the word self-discipline.