Thomas Campbell (right) & Kevin Campbell (left) with kids on the football field built by BHHF
Bring Hope football was established by our Goodwill Ambassador Kevin Campbell and member of our Board of Directors, Thomas Campbell in 2017. After former UK football legend Kevin had visited several IDP camps in Iraq/Kurdistan with Bring Hope, he pledged his support to encourage the young boys and girls of the region to better their circumstances and use the beautiful game of football to give them a chance of a better life filled with hope.
As the head of the Bring Hope Football Academy, Thomas Campbell has always been interested in creating an initiative that utilizes and emphasises many of the skills that are taught through the game to the children living in the camps.
“The great thing about the BHHF Football initiative is that all religions –Muslim, Sunni, Shiite, Yezidi, Jewish, Christian, etc get to be team mates and be part of a life changing Football experience! There will no doubt be talented players that require coaching in order to fulfil their potential and who better to deliver it than the BringHope Humanitarian Foundation!” Quote from Kevin Campbell ex-Premier League Footballer&Ambassador at The BringHope Humanitarian Foundation.
IRAQI KURDISTAN FOOTBALL PARTNERSHIP
The environment should be comfortable for each player to be happy and excel in their development.We will form a partnership with Erbil SC (Sports Club)in order for the young boys and girls in the program to have a real sense of belonging and a professional pathway for talent to be nurtured.This professional partnership makes the football program totally authentic for both the young Iraqi Displaced Peoples (IDP’s) and the young Refugees.
Erbil Sport Club(Arabic: نادي أربيل الرياضي, Kurdish: یانەی وەرزشیی هەولێر) is a sports club based in the city of Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan that plays in the Iraq Division One, the second-tier of Iraqi football. The club is also known as Yaney Hewlêr, the Kurdish name for Erbil. For the first time in its history, Erbil became champions of the Iraqi Premier League after beating Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya(1–0) in the final game on Friday, 6 July 2007. On 24 August 2008, Erbil retained their status as Iraqi Premier League champions with a well-deserved win over Baghdad based Al-Zawraa. On 16 July 2009 Erbil became the champion of Iraq’s super league for the third consecutive year after beating Najaf FC. They also won the league in 2012 with only one loss.
Erbil Sport Club is the first Iraqi-Kurdish team to qualify for the Asian Champions League and the Arab Champions League. In 2012 and 2014 they reached the AFC Cup final but lost both times. Erbil SC is the first Iraqi Premier League team to get players from outside Iraq. In the 2016-17 season, Erbil withdrew from the league and were relegated to the lower division.
BHHF FOOTBALL INITIATIVE -LEGACY PLANNING
There are so many factors that need to be taken into consideration regarding this initiative yet we must never lose sight of youngsters having fun playing the game they love. There needs to be funding in place that allows the long-term planning of the BHHF Football Program 5 years, 10 years and beyond.
Football teaches the importance of teamwork and discipline, encouraging boys and girls as well as young adults to work together towards a common goal, irrespective of one’s cultural background or religious beliefs. These life lessons seem particularly important to impart on these children due to the political and religious strife and divide that is present within the region. Creating a sense of peace, normalcy and calm at this age is not just necessary but develops and promotes a form of healing.
Although Bring Hope Football is in it’s infancy, the continuous support is paramount in ensuring more children within the camps have a chance at joining the academy.
PLAYER WELFARE/ CARE
A caring environment is what we will create for the young boys and girls because their well-being and happiness is the most important matter to BHHF. We must ensure coaches, physio, equipment, water and snacks are provided in order to ensure the players welfare is our number one priority.There must be a slow, steady initial engagement between coaching staff and all young players and there can be no communication issues as that would not be the best person first approach. These young IDP’s / Refugee players need to feel comfortable in the environment as well as be able to interact seamlessly with the coaches.
Nutrition plays a significant role in the development of young football players and we must ensure all players in the BHHF football program get the correct food and/or supplements in order for their bodies to grow, develop and maintain the optimum performance. Click here for an in depth understanding of nutrition.
HAVING FUN PARTICIPATING
The BHHF goal is to ensure every player has fun participating even if they are playing just as a recreational exercise. If a person enjoys what they are doing then there’s a better chance they will improve at it because they are interested in it. This is where the fundamentals of the 5 D’s come in to play a significant part of Player Development (below).
The 4D’s are essential for any player to progress and develop as a person and footballer. DESIRE, DETERMINATION, DEDICATION and DISCIPLINE.
As human beings, from the time we were kids we like to have things. In particular the things that we don’t have! Every kid says: “I want this, I want that!” At the beginning, they are simply objects.With the passing of time, they become expensive objects. But we can still have them. We just buy them, with our parents’ money or ours, when we grow up and go to work. But in growing up, there are other things that are not “objects” that we can “buy”.
We could have the desire to draw or paint, to play an instrument, to sing, to write or to play a sport, maybe football! This is very easy, if our goal is to just cover the paper with lines, the canvas with a crust of colors, make noise with an instrument or with the voice, write some e-mail or…. kick the ball around in a back yard. It will be very hard, if instead of the above, we would like to draw a portrait or paint like the great masters, play an instrument or sing in a way that will permit us to go on stage and make people listen to us and enjoy it, maybe even pay for a ticket, or play football at a high level, no matter what our age is. At this point, the desire is a great starting point! It is the ‘ancestral’ mechanism that makes us want things at the moment we don’t have. But, it’s just that –an instinct, a starting point. Unfortunately, the things listed above, are things that we can’t just take from someone else or buy. We need to use the second “D”.
If we just ‘want’ something and when it is hard to have it, at the first obstacle, we prefer to have something else, we will never achieve anything in life. We have to want something a lot and work hard to have it! Determination is a great weapon. It takes courage, to try again and again and again, no matter how many times. We have a goal on the horizon and it seems that the more we walk toward it, the more it stays on the horizon and doesn’t come closer. It will be always like that. We get closer, we have better and clearer vision, but we never reach the goal. It’s determination to get close that makes us better. Never give up (Jimmy Valvano–my insert). Challenge yourself, in doing something that is hard, that others are not able to do. Try to juggle 100 consecutive times. Try to stop a quarter on top of your foot, 10 times consecutively. Juggle with the head for 1 minute without mistakes. Obviously to do this, you need time, and here is where the third “D” comes in.
To achieve something, anything, takes time. I was young too and like every young person, I wanted everything NOW! Possibly, yesterday. We need to dedicate time to the exercises, because it is only through repetition that we build the new neuron connections in our brain that makes us act perfectly under pressure. Our brain works, transmits information, and makes deductions and associations of ideas, by electric and chemical neuron connections. When the brain realizes that we will repeat the same movement over and over, because it’s very smart, it builds a neuron SHORT CUT that enables it to reach that information faster and better, without making a long tour! Exactly like when we put a short cut on our desktop computer, to reach a page that we use often.
So, repetition, repetition and more repetition, to make movements become mechanically right under pressure. We will not act anymore. We will RE-ACT! When some object is thrown in our face from close, we don’t think that the object can hurt our eyes. There is no time to think! Our brain reacts mechanically and our hand immediately raises and protects our eyes. We are reacting, not acting after thinking. The same has to happen when a soccer ball comes very fast to us. We have to react perfectly right and make the automatic right choice, by controlling it, passing and scoring! Repetition, repetition and repetition takes time, but not only time. It takes the fourth “D”.
Almost all people, in repeating endless exercises, get bored. Even with little variations or trying to make them a little more fun, it’s still boring. It takes patience but more than that, it takes…. discipline! Not the kind of discipline that makes us obey. That is good, but it’s not that. It’s an interior discipline that pushes us to continue, to not give-up, and never take the eyes from the horizon, where the final target is. It comes a little closer but you never catch it. The concept of getting better is an endless effort.
This explains why the more we know, the more we understand that we don’t know! Discipline, is the glue that sticks desire, determination and dedication together. Without this glue, they don’t even come close to each other. A few lucky people have the patience and the interior discipline, to repeat, repeat and repeat. This explains why there are a limited number of successful dancers, musicians, writers, painters, singers and…. FOOTBALLPLAYERS! Anyone can draw, paint, dance, play, sing or kick the ball around. Doing all of this is a good thing, correct and very fun even without succeeding. To be someone who succeeds, one needs to use the four “D’s”.It’s up to us to be ‘someone’ and not only ‘anyone’ and it takes desire, determination, dedication and discipline.
Without mentor interaction, knowledge sharing and importantly knowledge transfer young players find it difficult to maintain focus over medium to longer periods and keep believing that they can actually make it. Mentoring supports the 4D’s and allows each and every player the freedom to express themselves to their full potential. A mentor has the experience which in turn creates a trusted bond with the players in order to get the very best out of every single player. Self-doubt can hinder any individual player yet with a mentor’s guidance this can be eliminated so a positive outlook can flourish.
Each mentor will be a:
• Role model
• Provider of feedback
• Critical enquirer
TALENT SPOTTING / SCOUTING
Over a five-year period, which will allow time for young players to understand the game, develop their mentality, team ethics, skills, game understanding etc we believe there will be opportunities for the best players to potentially play for professional Iraqi clubs or move abroad to the UAE or China into their football club academy programs. The opportunity and pathway will be there for them as our plan is to nurture the talent so the better players stand out. Organising games, tournaments and tours for the teams could be another way of getting the players scouted. We will ensure the players are ready to compete at all levels of the game.
The opportunity to make a real difference to so many young impressionable people far outweighs every single obstacle in the way. These people deserve a positive experience, real hope to move forward and to work with an organisation who really do care. We are committed to making the BHHF Football Initiative a successful program for many years to come.
The first newly constructed football pitch opened in the Harsham refugee camp, in Erbil and was inaugurated by Kevin Campbell on 7th March 2017. Since the opening of the first pitch, we are set to open several more in the neighbouring provinces this year with the support of international football players and world renowned coaches.
TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WAY THESE YOUNG PEOPLE LOOK AT THE WORLD!” – Thomas Campbell Board Member and Goodwill Ambassador at The BringHope Humanitarian Foundation
Director of the
The great thing about the BHHF Football initiative is that all religions get to be team mates and be part of a life changing Football experience! There is no doubt that there will be talented players that require coaching in order to fulfil their potential and who better to deliver it than the BringHope Humanitarian Foundation!