Guam’s Samantha Kenney has been selected as one of ten AFC Youth Social Responsibility Ambassadors from across the continent, on behalf of Aurora Training and Development, to make a presentation during a virtual workshop titled, “Can You Hear Me? A Young Footballer’s Guide to Making a Difference.”
The workshop, which is open for all interested, is part of a larger Generation Amazing festival that is taking place virtually from Dec. 2 to 4. The workshop will begin at 12 noon GMT (10 p.m. Guam time) on Dec. 4. To join the workshop, interested participants can register online at https://hopin.com/events/generation-amazing-festival-2020?code=7megmiCZE8YLl1lytcThkMSEp
“Overall, I’m excited for this opportunity and still a little stunned that I get this chance,” Kenney said. “I’ll be hosting the middle part of our session – sharing specific social projects – and will be going into how my upcoming project deals with Diversity and Inclusion. Right now, with my fellow Guam ambassador Kiarra Hutcherson, we want to start a football development program for young kids with disabilities. A lot of us Guam footballers started playing by the young ages of four to eight years old, but some kids with disabilities on island aren’t exactly given that same opportunity. We simply hope to change that.”
Like most teenagers, Kenney is having to juggle several responsibilities, including attending classes online, finishing school work, taking part in youth national football team training, organizing her upcoming community project, and researching colleges, among others, but ultimately felt that she could not miss this opportunity, as the key messages from the presentations have the potential to reach her peers across the globe.
“Hopefully the workshop will inspire even more young people, being that it’ll be led and taught entirely by teenagers,” said Kenney, a 16-year-old student at Harvest Christian Academy. “We also aim to encourage how to make the most out of a difficult situation, being that all these new opportunities have stemmed during a global pandemic.”
Kenney was one of four from Guam selected to participate in the recently concluded AFC-Aurora eGoal Programme. Other graduates from Guam were Kiarra Hutcherson, Kai Pahl, and Alexander Stenson. The closing ceremony for the program was held Nov. 12.
During the awards portion of the ceremony, Kenney received the “Optimist” award for the East Zone, which recognizes the top participant who brought enthusiasm to each session, motivating his or her peers with creativeness, liveliness, and positivity, according to an explanation during the program’s closing ceremony.
Stenson received the “Smooth Operator” award, which went to the top participants from each Asian zone “who helped run the show.” They were chosen by their peers as leaders in break out room discussions, helping to make sure content was understood by group members and course work finished, as described during the closing ceremony.
Kenney initially was nominated to be part of the planning committee for the closing ceremony and eventually became part of a 10-member Youth Social Responsibility Council made up of two representatives from each Asian zone. Kenney was selected to represent the East Zone with Hong Kong’s Xavier Chang. Other members in the council are Southeast Asia’s Cian Gabriel Galsim from the Philippines and Yang Myint Ze from Myanmar, South Asia’s Muhammad Umer Butt from Pakistan and Maleeka Shaahaani Amith from Sri Lanka, Central Asia’s Yasmin Erfani from Afghanistan and Aygul Janmyradova from Turkmenistan, and the West Zone’s Anis Maher Anis Kassem from Syria and Maha Al Badr from Qatar.
Official communication from Aurora Training and Development recognized all ten ambassadors listed above who each will be presenting during the 45-minute workshop on Dec. 4. The workshop will be held on the final day of the Generation Amazing Festival, the theme of which is “Connectedness”.
More information about the Generation Amazing Festival is online at https://www.qatar2022.qa/en/opportunities/generation-amazing/youth-festivals
Guam's Samantha Kenney looks for options on the field under pressure from an Uzbekistan opponent during a match of the AFC U16 Women's Championship Qualifier in Sri Lanka in this October 2018 file photo. Photo by Mike Santos for GFA.
Guam's Samantha Kenney looks to advance the ball forward during an opening day match of the AFC U19 Women's Championship Qualifier Group C at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic Saturday against Maldives in this September 2018 file photo. The Young Masakåda, Guam U19 Women's National Team, defeated the Maldives 12-0 in Asia's first match of the tournament's qualifying round. Photo courtesy of Football Federation of Kyrgyz Republic.
Bank of Guam Lady Strykers' Samantha Kenney attempts to gain possession of the ball from Heavy Hitters/Nutrition Mission Heat's Megan Oksendahl in a Bud Light Women's Soccer League Premier Division match in this 2019 file photo at the Guam Football Association National Training Center.