1.3 Billion Can’t Be Wrong…

It’s really hard to overestimate how beloved soccer is around the world. This article from the Washington Post does a great job of describing what the game means to kids in rural China who have few other opportunities for entertainment or avenues for advancement. To read the entire piece, click here: http://chinawatch.washingtonpost.com/2011/12/chasing-soccer-stardom.php

For those who don’t have time to read the whole thing, my favorite two paragraphs are as follows:

Hirali was born to a rural family in Kashgar, in western Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. His enthusiasm for soccer began in his preschool days when he herded sheep for his family. But he did not get a football until his sister in college gave him one for his ninth birthday.

“I never saw a football before that day. I was so excited that I even slept with it,” Hirali said with a shy smile. “Before then, my ‘football’ was a shoebox stuffed with grass, but I happily played with it anyway.”

It’s moving to hear just how much joy a single soccer ball brought into Hirali’s life.  I can’t think of a better motivation for everyone reading this to Travel With Balls!

Peace & Blessings,