For PASS Abu Dhabi, the city’s best-known and most-loved football programme, practice is not about perfection.
Instead, the mantra for Seth Amoafo, the man who started the award-winning sports initiative more than a decade ago, is fundamentally different. Practice makes permanent.
“It’s a practical way of thinking. When you do things consistently, it becomes part of your psyche and you progress naturally.”
“There’s an honesty of purpose – doing things again and again in the right way,” explains Seth. “And it’s ok to fail.”
As you listen to Seth speak passionately about the principles underpinning PASS, you are drawn in by his genuine belief that everyone should gain from an encounter with PASS, be it a one-off session or a longstanding membership.
“Every child should feel we care about them as a person and as a footballer,” he quickly adds.
“Every parent should know too that their child is of paramount importance to us. We want them to know and feel that we respect them.”
Seth’s conviction has guided him from the very beginning. Twelve years ago, when he first arrived in Abu Dhabi as a school teacher, he noticed that football opportunities for children were missing and he decided to do something about it.
“I only came for two years… and added another ten. That’s how it works,” he laughs, contemplating where life has taken him.
“We’ve been lucky with parents and coaches, understanding what we’re trying to do. We look at PASS not as a business but as a cause.”
And perhaps, that is the key to the PASS success story. Seth attributes word of mouth and goodwill as critical factors in the programme’s exponential growth over the years.
However, there’s more to this extraordinary narrative. PASS is about the personal journey.
“We’re trying to help young children enjoy sports and be the best version of themselves. And for us, football is more than a sport.
“We use it to help children learn about leadership… to understand the values that are important in life.
“It’s not all about the score on the board,” he advocates. “PASS caters for all abilities. It all depends on where your interest lies.”
“You can choose to engage at different levels, from recreational to developing, all the way up to competitive.”
“There’s always a place for everyone. Everyone has their own path, and players can take the path that is right for them.
“The boys and girls in our programmes have the opportunity to take ownership of their own learning.”
But what inspired this sports philosophy?
“Born in Ghana, I grew up thinking about the bigger picture, looking at how we can help others. There just has to be a purpose, a meaning to what you do.”
After a single encounter with Seth, you are left thinking: PASS Abu Dhabi, steered by a UEFA-qualified coach, with a PGCE and a law degree, currently studying a Masters in Sports Directorship, is in safe community-building hands.
And that’s a lasting legacy. Perfect, you could dare say.
If you want to know how your children can be part of PASS, visit passabudhabi.com