Nyakello spent 10 days in Moscow as part of the Kick4Life initiative.
World Cup – 17 July 2018

SOS teenager joins FIFA delegation at World Cup

One lucky aspiring footballer has been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to join a FIFA delegation to the World Cup in Russia. The teenager spent ten days in Moscow - where she watched Russia defeat Spain on penalties live at the Luzhniki stadium and took part in the FIFA delegation festival.

Nyakello grew up in the SOS Children’s Villages UK’s sister project in Lesotho, which is part of the world’s largest charity working with unsupported children. She was hand-picked to receive the honour by local football development charity Kick4Life in recognition of her commitment to the game, motivation and resilience.

A talented footballer, 17-year-old Nyakello already has a place in her local women’s development team and hopes to earn a spot in the national league women’s team in a few years.

She was joined on the trip by three other youngsters from Lesotho and 48 delegations of young people from around the world, who were encouraged to share their different experiences of life and football from different countries.

The youngsters played against each other in a football tournament in Red Square on a temporary pitch especially built by FIFA for the occasion. They also gave cultural performances, with Nyakello and her peers demonstrating a traditional Lesotho dance for the other delegates.

Kick4Life co-founder Steve Fleming, who comes from Southampton, said: ‘Nyakello has earned this opportunity through her hard work and positive attitude. She is not only extremely talented, she is a team-player and role model for the other girls on her team. I hope the experience will help her on her path towards fulfilling her potential in life.”

SOS Children’s Villages Lesotho has close ties with Kick4Life – a charity which uses football to improve children’s self-confidence and leadership skills, promote gender-equality, and teach health education such as HIV prevention.

The partnership reflects SOS Children’s Villages belief that sport can be an important tool for improving children’s life-chances, teaching important life-skills such as teamwork and communication and aiding children’s development. Many of the children under their care in Lesotho are members of Kick4life teams and programmes.

SOS Children’s Villages UK CEO Alison Wallace said: “We are incredibly proud of Nyakello’s achievements. She is very talented and it is wonderful to see her hard work and determination being rewarded.”

Kick4Life was founded by Southampton brothers Steve and Pete Fleming and launched at Southampton FC’s St Mary’s Stadium. They were inspired to start the charity after taking part in a 250-mile football challenge across Malawi for unsupported children in 2005.