St. Thomas Strikers

Last year was the first year that St. Thomas had a senior parish team. I am not really sure there is an age limit because we have women from 15 to 34. It’s an interesting dynamic and it doesn’t always work. The team is officially coached by a man named Mr. Brown and a lady named Ms. Marva. They are both certified coaches, and play their roles in the management of the team. Mr. Brown coaches the more technical aspect and Ms. Marva organizes everything.

St. Thomas Strikers

Last Wednesday we had to prepare the field for our first match. A local farmer lets his cows roam the field, and on rainy days their hooves create huge holes. It was somehow decided that our team were the ones who needed to fix up the field. I thought it was going to be a great team building activity, but only 4 of us showed up. We had to fill bags with sand, and for the first few hours wheelbarrow them up to the field—roughly a 10 minute to walk.

Filling bags with sand.
My sweet new sun hat. Don’t judge.
Mango break

A few hours into the day, and not much progress later, we got truck to carry a few loads of full bags up to the field.

The truck finally arrived!

We poured the bags into the holes, raked out the rocks, and jumped on the dirt to pack it down.

Fixing the holes.

Once the rest of the team arrived, we thought they would help out, but most just sat there and watched. Another frustration, but I will take the small win of successfully fixing the field for our match!

Game day was so exciting! Marie came over for the weekend and she came and watched and warmed up with us.

Marie decided to play football with a cow, who then charged after her.

We got sweet new blue uniforms. I felt like it was a defining moment in making us feel more like a team.

New uniforms!
Customary prayer before the match.

We went out strong in the first 20 minutes of the game and they scored two goals. I was on the sideline, but you could feel the excitement on the field. It was the first time that they had ever really felt what it was like to win. Last year they lost all of their games and had over 50 goals against. Like any “young” team, the excitement got the best of them and the other team scored 3 goals to win the match.

It was hard to be a part of, especially because the coaches openly targeted a few of the players, blaming them for things that went wrong. It truly makes me question being a part of the team, because when I suggest another way to approach it they use their culture as a justification—or an excuse. A work in progress, I just need to find the willpower to keep fighting the battle.

We have our next match on Wednesday against one of the best teams in the league, wish us good luck!

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