Koh Panyee football club – where there’s a will there’s a way

Continuing on with my topic of “The beautiful game”, today I’m sharing the story of a group of boys in the village of Koh Panyee in Phang Nga Province in Thailand.  The village is notable for being built by Indonesian fisherman completely on stilts.

koh-panyi1

This true story is about a group of boys who lived in the village in 1986 and loved watching soccer on TV, but they had no place to play it themselves.  Not to be deterred, they decided to build a floating soccer field where they could finally play the game they loved. Through their own efforts they managed to build a floating field, and even though they would often end up in the water chasing the ball and playing on wood planks that had nails sticking up, they finally had the field that they wanted.  Eventually, they decided to participate in a tournament on the mainland.  They initially thought that they weren’t good enough to do very well in the tournament, but they ended up making it into the semi-finals.  The semi-final game was on a very rainy day and they went down by a score of 2 – 0 in the first half. At the half-time break they decided to take off their soccer shoes and play the game the way they always played it at home, in bare-feet.  They were able to come back and tie the match, but in the end they lost due to a late goal.  But they were so proud of what they’d done, plus with the strong encouragement of the other villagers, they decided to build a much nicer floating soccer field than the one they originally played on.  And they’ve been very successful in tournaments ever since.

This is a heart warming story about a group of young men who were determined to have a soccer field, and were willing to do whatever it took to get one.  The video is nicely produced and with the captions it’s easy to follow the story and share in the sense of accomplishment by the boys.  There is a wonderful contrast between the majestic beauty of the surroundings versus the small cramped space that the villagers called home.  It’s also a great introduction to the life of the villagers of Koh Panyee which seems to be a very tight-knit community.  The video has a very light-hearted  feel to it with a young boy’s voice narrating the video while happy native music plays in the background.

Assessment traits

  • Originality, voice, creativity: The voice of this story is one of its strengths.  The voice is all based on one young man who narrates the entire piece.  His voice gives credence to the idea that it was a bunch of young kids who decided to build the field and then accomplished it.  It is important for producers of stories like this one to understand that a story aimed at a younger audience is more believable and relatable if it uses the voice of a young person.
  • Flow, organization, and pacing: The video was very successful in how it was organized and the flow was consistent with the story.  It had a bright, happy feel to it that seemed to bounce along with the characters as they built the field, played on the field, and then eventually played in the tournament.  It felt as if I was one of the kids from the village playing on the field.  I especially enjoyed the occasional comments from the adults that showed that they were interested in the endeavor, but letting the players do it themselves.
  • Media application: This digital story would not have been successful if it didn’t have the images shot around the village and at the tournament.  Seeing the village on stilts gives us a different perspective on what it takes to enjoy some of the basics in life such as a field to play on.  Images of this nature can help us share remote and far away places with our students, which will not only help them understand very different cultures, but it will also help them appreciate their own environment and what they take for granted.

 

5 thoughts on “Koh Panyee football club – where there’s a will there’s a way

  1. Hi David,

    That is a wonderfully inspiring story, and as a viewer I was immediately engaged. It was very nicely produced and many things worked together. There was the establishment of place, culture, and individuals working together to accomplish the unthinkable. Not only was the unthinkable accomplished, it changed the entire community.

    Thanks for sharing this digital story. I agree with your assessment, especially originality and voice.

    Matt

    Like

  2. Louiza

    Hi David,

    Thanks for sharing! Such an engaging and heartwarming story! Even from the very first seconds the breathtaking scenery captures the viewers’ attention. The narrator introduces the story right away, and what makes the story even more intriguing is that the narrator mentions that they loved watching football, l but they never played. Someone would think how it can be possible for people who love watching football to never have played. As the camera focuses on the floating homes, the viewers get to eyewitness what the narrator says. The narrator’s explanation about the adverse conditions to form a soccer team, with discouraging comments from adults and lack of space to build a soccer field. The scene with the bicyclist falling into the water because of the narrow streets, explains how challenging it would for the young player to find a place to practice soccer. Their determination and excellent team working skills, were instrumental in making their dream come true. Their passion and dedication is phenomenal. It takes a lot of courage to disregard the risk of playing soccer on a shaky area with a risk of stepping into nails that were sticking out everywhere. But regardless of the fields quality it is evident that all the players have so much fun, and playing soccer on a wet slippery surface didn’t seem to bother any of them. The background music intensifies the players’ joyous feelings and makes the viewer feel that same joy and enthusiasm. The images, music and the narrator’s enthusiastic voice make this story memorable and a good lesson for the viewers to learn that the power of determination is unbeatable!

    Louiza

    Like

  3. Hi David,
    Thanks for sharing! Such an engaging and heartwarming story! Even from the very first seconds the breathtaking scenery captures the viewers’ attention. The narrator introduces the story right away, and what makes the story even more intriguing is that the narrator mentions that they loved watching football, l but they never played. Someone would think how it can be possible for people who love watching football to never have played. As the camera focuses on the floating homes, the viewers get to eyewitness what the narrator says. The narrator’s explanation about the adverse conditions to form a soccer team, with discouraging comments from adults and lack of space to build a soccer field. The scene with the bicyclist falling into the water because of the narrow streets, explains how challenging it would for the young player to find a place to practice soccer. Their determination and excellent team working skills, were instrumental in making their dream come true. Their passion and dedication is phenomenal. It takes a lot of courage to disregard the risk of playing soccer on a shaky area with a risk of stepping into nails that were sticking out everywhere. But regardless of the fields quality it is evident that all the players have so much fun, and playing soccer on a wet slippery surface didn’t seem to bother any of them. The background music intensifies the players’ joyous feelings and makes the viewer feel that same joy and enthusiasm. The images, music and the narrator’s enthusiastic voice make this story memorable and a good lesson for the viewers to learn that the power of determination is unbeatable!
    Louiza

    Like

  4. Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful story! One of the best surprises in this class has been the opportunity to view what my fellow classmates are finding! It has been really fun to view amazing digital stories, and this one is no exception. The theme of determination is inspiring, and this is a story I will be adding to my collection to share with my students.

    Like

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