Football is more than a sport. Over the years, this old adage has rung true and the story in this article exemplifies that.
Founded in 2016 as a charity drive, Imaad is an initiative that helps out the less fortunate families in Singapore. It does this through collecting basic necessities such as instant noodles and rice and delivers them from door to door of the needy.
Imaad’s network of volunteers aids greatly in helping them to achieve their altruistic objective. Subsequently needing to grow the brand of Imaad, and to spread the word of its initiative better, its coordinator Mr Zul decided to launch a football team.
A football fan and in particular a fan of Arsenal himself, the 30 year-old recognised the power of football and decided to leverage on it. Through the football team, more volunteers have been recruited thus easing the process of helping Imaad achieve its charity mission.
However just like football there are always ups and downs. And Mr Zul’s main challenge is maintaining a healthy core of volunteers to assist him. At times he mentioned how he would have to build up a new pool of volunteers, as most of them would leave after a few sessions.
But the constant rebuilding process did not deter Mr Zul and he kept on soldiering on. But he maintains that it’s the football team that has kept his initiative afloat. He recounted how in the past, during his youth, he was wayward but only because of football; he was kept on the right path.
Significantly, when doing his deliveries from door to door he would occasionally invite youths he met to join Imaad’s soccer team. He believes it will do them good as through the sport they will learn a wealth of values that can aid them in life. And this also represents another key agenda of theirs which is grooming youths into responsible adults.
“In Imaad’s soccer team we see people coming from all walks of life. At times some of them may look unruly but are actually some of the kindest souls I have ever met,” explained Zul.
“So the lesson here it taught me was we must forgo human nature and not be judgemental, because everyone is made equal.”
“Honestly our team is a welcoming one. And we want to engage youths to take part in this noble cause through football,” said Zaki, a volunteer.
“For me it’s as if we are killing two birds with one stone. How? By combining our love for football and charity. Let’s hope we get more people to join in the future because there are numerous needy people that need us to step forward. ”