NISC: Tell us about yourself.
Takahiro: My name is Takahiro Unno, and I am from Shizoka, Japan. I am the manager and soccer coach for the Soltilo Soccer School, which is based here in Cambodia.
NISC: What brought you to Cambodia?
Takahiro: My passion for soccer and coaching was what I had to share, and the opportunity to share this talent with children in Cambodia of all nationalities.
NISC: Tell us about the soccer camp at NISC. How did this collaboration begin?
Takahiro: We were fortunate enough to meet the team at Northbridge and was presented with the opportunity to collaborate with their Summer Camp programme, with thoughts of incorporating our Soltilo Soccer camp coaching and methodologies into it. The ethos of NISC and Soltilo are one and the same. Be ambitious and believe in the importance of having dreams. We were so lucky to be able to collaborate with over 100 students and 20 NISC staff members. We are now in talks with NISC to run an afterschool programme for all students from September.
NISC: What is your experience in teaching children sports?
Takahiro: I have experience teaching and coaching all children age ranges, and from different nationalities and backgrounds. I have dedicated my career in putting my energy and passion into each individual child's potential. I am a firm believer that Sports Education is a tool in positive formation of a child's character.
NISC: What are the age groups of the children you taught at soccer camp?
Takahiro: We had primarily had 4 age groups. Ages 4 to 6 years old,7 to 9 years old, 9 to 12 years old, and over 12 years old, which are classified as “seniors”. They were all absolutely amazing.
NISC: How do you motivate children to be their best in sports?
Takahiro: One of most important priorities we focused on was to communicate effectively with each child in order to build strong and positive relationships. We created so many little opportunities for all of them to experience success and praised them each time that they achieved something.
NISC: What do you think are the advantages of children being engaged in sport activities during their early years?
Takahiro: I think the early years are definitely the most impressionable and valuable. This is when you can really make your mark for the rest of their entire lives.
NISC: What was the most memorable part of soccer camp?
Takahiro: I cannot choose just one, there are just too many good memories to choose from. The last day of summer camp was absolutely amazing, impressive and truly special, not just for me, but also to all of the other coaches. The Soccer Camp ended after 3 weeks and we could already see the positive impact our coaching had on the students. They are truly amazing, respectful students with such a sense of life and fun.
NISC: What is your message to all your students at the Soccer Camp?
Takahiro: Allow me to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Being your coach was one of the greatest honors of my life. Always believe in what you're doing, believe in your potential, and believe in yourself.