Four Guam youth national team players were officially recognized as Guam’s first AFC youth social responsibility ambassadors after receiving a certificate on January 15 at the Guam Football Association’s National Training Center.
Kiarra Hutcherson, Samantha Kenney, Kai Pahl and Alexander Stenson all received certificates after participating in the AFC Aurora eGoal program, a three-week virtual event with fellow participants from the region that began on September 21 last year A GFA press release has fulfilled all program requirements.
Aurora has developed a virtual social responsibility program to continue providing meaningful sharing as part of its COVID-19 response efforts, the Aurora website states. The eGoal program is based on a partnership with AFC and AFC’s Dream Asia Foundation. “It is based on Aurora’s Youth Development Model and aims to educate young players on the social and moral foundations of sport and equip them with the skills they need to drive social change. and offer them a platform through which they can advocate ethical and responsible football. “
“On behalf of the Guam Football Association, I would like to commend Kiarra, Samantha, Kai and Alexander for their recognized efforts and achievements in this program with AFC and Aurora Training and Development,” said Tino San Gil, GFA President. “Over the course of the program, the four players learned so much about the impact of football on and off the field, their important role among their peers in community development and about themselves.”
The players join approximately 80 others from 42 different countries in Asia who have received the certificate.
“The eGoal program was a great experience. The online sessions were very informative and I was able to work with a lot of educated people on important topics, ”said Stenson, a 17-year-old student at St. John’s School.
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Pahl, a 15-year-old student at Saint Paul Christian School, said, “One of the most important things I learned from the program would be to know that there is always someone who doesn’t have the same privileges as me and I have an important role to play as an athlete to work towards ensuring that everyone else has the same privileges that I had. “
The four athletes participated in nine different online sessions over a period of three years
“Some key learnings are understanding diversity and inclusivity, and the impact sport has on people of all cultures and industries,” said Hutcherson, a 17-year-old student at Notre Dame High School. “As a national player representing the island, I now have the tools to pass this on to other football players.”
As part of the program, each of the certificate recipients will work on social responsibility projects in their respective communities, the press release said.
Hutcherson partnered with Kenney to work on a pilot with Special Olympics Guam.
“I will be working with Kiarra, Trainer Sam (San Gil), Special Olympics Guam, and various other amazing people to try and start a development program for young children with disabilities on the island,” said the 16-year-old Kenney student at the Harvest Christian Academy. “With a variety of activities that include sensory enrichment, we want the children to develop both intellectually and physically. We also hope to create a support group for the children’s mothers / parents by enabling them to be involved in their child’s development through football. “
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Pahl decided to work on a project with the Health for All base department to improve opportunities for anyone who wants to get involved in football. Stenson is working on projects related to sustainability and the environment, including future beach cleanups. Hutcherson and Kenney started their projects and created sample sessions with Special Olympics athletes to be part of a larger event with more athletes.
“The AFC Aurora eGoal program was incredibly memorable, insightful, and so much fun,” said Kenney. “EGoal reminded me that there are problems right now – lack of inclusion, inequality, abuse, discrimination, etc. that require attention and are part of positive participation is our choice.”