Mallory Primm
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I'm with the Team

March 30, 2009 @ 9:10 AM | Permalink

On Sunday I went with my new soccer team, Kappa Ladies, to their game at Mhlambayatsi. Although I’m not yet registered to play (although hopefully will be soon), I went along as a spectator.

We met in front of Wild Wingzz in Mbabane. Some of the girls wore their white Kappa Ladies polo shirts with blue track pants with a thin yellow piping down the side. Others were in long blue shorts with yellow trim. One forward came in J-lo-esqu zipper overalls and a blue Kappa Ladies shirt. One player brought her son.

Our coach arrives behind the wheel of the team Kombie in a white Gilligan’s hat, blasting music about thirty decibels louder than the Kombie’s speakers can handle. We all climb in. My legs don’t fit, no matter how I maneuver, between the back of my seat and the back of the seat in front of me, so I sit hugging my knees like a frightened child. I have one hip pressed against the outside right defender and the other against the blaring Kombie speaker. We start off, making a quick stop at the Spar grocery store (why we don’t just meet there and skip the unloading and re-loading process as it is just across the way from the Wild Wingzz is beyond me) and are then on our way.

Mhlambayatsi, our destination, is 27 kilometers outside of Mbabane. To get there, the Kombie struggles over hills, down valleys, across rivers, past the dam and between the beautiful rolling vistas of this mountainous and unruly Kingdom. The temperature drops a few degrees as we enter the vast manmade pine forest and finally arrive at the field, about two before the game is set to start.

We sit under a tree to eat lunch. We are each allotted two hot-dog buns and some soda, which my teammates drink from discarded water-bottles found around the field and washed at the tap. After lunch, our coach gives us our pre-game lecture. Using empty water bottles for our team and old beer bottles for the other, he goes through the role of each position on the field. Then, he announces the line up. Each girl stands as her name is called and, as there are only eleven players present today, all the girls (or women, rather) are standing.

Change into uniforms brought by the manager in a plaid plastic tote. Warm-up. Check in with the referees. Whistle blows: game on. Heat, sweat, cheers, half-time, hear sweat, kicks, saves. Whistle blows: game over. The final score is zero/zero. The girls change out of their uniforms and we carry our injured captain to the Kombie. We drive back, blasting music, just as we came.

The coach, who isn’t paid and funds the entire running of the team out of his salary and commitment to social responsibility, is going to help me get a permit so I can play. I can’t wait.

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A good lesson for us all

Nicolle OConnor on Country Western and other Music in Swaziland 2009-06-11

just wondering if you have published any results?

David Broska on Into the Field 2010-06-19
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