It goes without saying that a fruit doesn’t fall far from a tree. This rings true for eight year old Aiden Narayan whose enthusiasm is a reflection of his dad, Ronyl Narayan’s love for the sport- football.
Aiden, a year 3 student of Rishikul Primary School couldn’t hide his excitement when he accompanied his father to Fiji Football Association’s Mom & Pop League program at the Fiji FA Academy Grounds in Vatuwaqa.
“Aiden is an intelligent child who is full of energy. His love for football is beyond my expectations,” Mr. Narayan said.
“Most of the time he watches football skills on YouTube and that is how he generated his interest and skills in football”
Mr. Narayan who is a single parent ensures Aiden gets the best of everything. Given Aiden’s zealousness in football, Narayan did not hesitate to take advantage of this unique opportunity presented by the FFA.
“Although we have limited playing yard at our home, Aiden always manages to find a space for him to practice his skills”
“Aiden has loved football since he was a child and it is one thing I will always encourage him to grow in, “said Narayan
Aiden idolizes Christiano Ronaldo and Neymar Junior and makes a point not to miss a single match of his favorite players.
For Narayan who himself is a great football enthusiast feels such programs for children will go a long way in developing young players like his son. He feels this is the perfect platform to shine lights on young and aspiring talents that can be further molded into great football players in the future.
“The program boosts confidence in children and they get opportunity to develop their skills at this stage and at the same time make new friends,” added Narayan.
“Despite being unwell, he did not want to miss this program”
Narayan has urged parents to make the most of such an initiative by the Association.
“This is an opportunity that we did not have readily available to us during our days. It is imperative that we, as parents encourage our children to participate in such programs. We should be “the wings beneath their wings”, Narayan added.
Aiden’s love and passion for the sport will no doubt take him to greater heights. He is a budding footballer who wouldn’t take anything less than hard work and dedication to prove himself on the field.
“It makes me feel very good, and then when I am playing football with my friends it’s just awesome, I love it,” he told Fiji FA media.
“My dream is to develop my football skills and represent my district and country in future. This session has really helped me a lot,” said Aiden
The Mom & Pop League is a program for children under 12 that was established in 2018 and continued this year in seven districts.