When soccer also contributes to development

Soccer is a sport that excites and unites many. It is one of the few things that manage to bring people together, regardless of race, religion, ideology and gender. It can inspire some when they are feeling down and encourages others to dream again, even if they already thought they couldn’t.

Marcelo is one of the many who have found a reason to go out and do something in life, in the most popular sport in the world. Aged just 23, he has created a training school for players and for spotting new talent. The Chilean institution of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, Fondo Esperanza (FE), opened the doors for him to do so.

Prior to this, he thought he would make a living by selling accessories for mobile phones, but things didn’t go as he hoped. So he decided to reinvent himself and get involved in something he truly loved. He has already received his certification as Social Sports Coach but is still studying to be a Technical Manager in the Chilean National Football Institute (INAF). When he finishes, he would like to work for a professional club, such as the Colo Colo, which he has supported as a fan for many years.

This entrepreneur is a member of the village bank Jardín de Flores, thanks to which was able to establish the school and buy materials such as cones, tabards and balls. He already has 78 pupils, and has hired three teachers, thereby also contributing to his community’s development. “I try to see a bit beyond my students. I want to enable the most talented to go further, so they can have opportunities to play for professional clubs. What’s more, I have kids from low-income families studying for free,” he explains.

Marcelo’s story is a true example of how the will to dream and to chase your aspirations are vital to make them come true. “I so love what I do that it helps me keep going, moving towards my goals, because this is where I see my future,” this young trainer shares, thinking of all the goalposts he is aiming for. Just like in soccer, when you want to score a goal you must kick the ball, never giving up, guiding it around all the obstacles between you and the goalie. That is the only way to win the match.

Laura G. Sáez, Communications BBVAMF