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Saadabdullah

 

“Free Footie is a very good program,” Umar says. “But I think it should have more publicity and funding, so that every kid can try it.”

13-year-old Saadabdullah has only been playing Free Footie for a couple of months, but he’s already got an entry for his own personal highlight reel.

He was the game’s goalie, and it involved something he calls a “three-hand save.”

“What happened,” Saadabdullah says now, “is they shot it, right? I stopped it. They shot it again, and I punched it out. They shot one more time, I picked it up, and threw it out for clearance.”

And that’s called a three-hand save?
“That’s what I call it,” he says without a pause—and with no small hint of pride.

Free Footie is so popular at Saadabdullah’s school, that kids have to try out to get a spot. It took Saadabdullah three tries before he finally got his turn.

He and his dad, Umar, both hope the program can get more funding so that everyone who wants to play can.

Umar works as a heavy-duty mechanic with CN, and until recently his schedule meant that he was unable to watch his son play, even though their family lives just across the street from the school. But now he works the night shift and there’s just enough time to squeeze in a game before heading off to the yards.

“Free Footie is a very good program,” Umar says. “But I think it should have more publicity and funding, so that every kid can try it.”