Friday, January 22, 2010

United we stand

7 years ago, when I was just starting to work with street kids in Hanoi, my friends and I came up with the idea of starting a soccer team.

We'd been running weekly classes out of a room in my home, but as more and more kids came, we just didn't have the room to teach them. So we figured that we could fit plenty of kids onto the soccer field, offer a meal at the end, and then run classes for those who wanted to study.

That was back before we had even started Blue Dragon Children's Foundation - seems like a lifetime ago!

But 7 years on, Blue Dragon still meets every Sunday morning at 8am for a game of soccer. Just 3 kids came to our first game; these days it's common for 60 to 80 kids to be there.

At the outset, our team was named Real Betis Vietnam. One of the original Blue Dragon team, a Spaniard named Gonzalo Serrano, was a big fan of Real Betis, so we adopted that name. Now, though, we've decided to create a new team with a name that resonates more strongly with our kids:

Blue Dragon United.

The new team kicks off this Sunday morning, but the new shirt is already getting some publicity...







These are all real, I tells ya. Trust me.

We've created a website for the players to keep in touch with the latest news. It's just in Vietnamese at the moment but in coming weeks we'll have English as well. Check it out:

Blue Dragon United

After the launch on Sunday, I'll blog again with some more info, and hopefully some more photos. As I write, the rain is bucketing down outside, so we are all hoping for clearer skies very soon...



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5 comments:

amyha said...

These photos make me chuckle! i'm sure they're real, i mean, look at how chuffed all the celebs look sporting those funky shirts! Lucky them. :)

Steve Jackson said...

Blue Dragon United. Love it.

I must get along on a Sunday some time.

chung said...

Guess who's just become the biggest fan of BU in this whole world?

It's Chung, that's who.

Kerstin Brittsjö said...

Wish I could be there. Good luck with the new team!!!

chung said...

How do I become fan of BU on facebook?