Fedde (right)

In 2020, my husband Lauren and I found ourselves back in Singapore after six years living in my homeland of the Netherlands. This time though, we had our seven-year-old daughter, Kiki, and her five-year-old brother, Fedde, in tow.

As parents, we were well aware of the significant positive impact of our children participating in a sports team to stimulate social engagement, teamwork, and physical activity. Friends already living in Singapore were very enthusiastic about their daughter’s experience with ANZA Soccer and it didn’t take long for our children to decide they wanted to give it a try.

Tjitske’s husband Lauren, second left

Fedde had already dipped his toes into soccer in the Netherlands, while Kiki was working on her field hockey skills. From the moment Fedde stepped onto the ANZA soccer field one Saturday morning in January 2021, and despite not speaking a word of English, he quickly found himself making a new friend. My son and his new Australian buddy Will bonded through the universal language of play and laughter.

At the same time, Kiki started playing with ANZA Matildas, and she was overjoyed to meet Scarlett who was the same age and instantly made her feel at home, speaking English and Dutch. This newfound friendship boosted her confidence and solidified her passion for playing soccer alongside learning the English language.

Play with your mates

Tjitske at ANZA Soccer

Over the course of the following year, we witnessed a growing influx of children from Holland International School and other European backgrounds joining the ANZA community. We couldn’t help but notice that many parents were curious about what made ANZA so special. The answer, we believe, lies in the unique characteristics of the organisation.

ANZA is volunteer-based, fostering a warm and positive atmosphere that resonates with the Dutch philosophy of “play-based learning.” In the unofficial motto of ANZA Soccer in Singapore you’ll find the essence of the experience: “Play with your mates.” Fast forward to today, and both Kiki and Fedde are fully immersed in the ANZA Soccer scene, dedicating their Saturdays to training and Sundays to competing. And it has become a “family thing”. Lauren is one of the Saturday coaches for Sailors G8 and Matilda’s G9, while I volunteer for both age groups.

Our journey with ANZA Soccer so far has been a remarkable one, filled with new friendships, shared laughter, and a deep sense of community. It’s a testament to the power of sports and the unique charm of ANZA, where children, parents, and volunteers come together to make every moment on the field a memorable one.