Amos Ondieki praises ADO Den Haag after their fans threw cuddly toys to patients from a sick kids hospital during the game with Feyenoord on Sunday.

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den-haag-fans-toysCan Football Teach Boys Compassion Instead of Aggression? that is the question that has been lingering in my mind lately. Having been away for close to three months, as part of my compulsory field research for my thesis, i was glad to be back in the Netherlands, at the right time, i mean it couldn’t get better than the gesture by the ADO Den Haag fans on Sunday.

In a pleasant change from abuse being hurled from the stands, ADO Den Haag fans threw cuddly toys down onto Feyenoord supporters in the tier below them during their Eredivisie clash between the sides over the weekend.

Having been encouraged to bring toys to the game, the hundreds of presents raining down from above were gifts for patients at Sophia Children’s Hospital. The children walked onto the pitch with both teams before kick-off and in a heartwarming gesture, the ADO Den Haag fans launched the toys into the air during the 12th minute of the game.

A statement on the Feyenoord club website read: “Feyenoord hopes that all children and staff can enjoy a carefree day at De Kuip.”

They also posted on Twitter before the game with the instruction: “A call to all away supporters. Take with you a little cuddly toy to the game. Just make sure there are no hard things in the toy. So no beads and buttons, children from the Sophia Children’s Hospital will be under us in the away end.”

In the match itself, Feyenoord ran out 3-1 victors with former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt getting on the scoresheet.

In football, there is a motto which says ‘you can hate the team but not the fan’, that essentially sports and football in large should bring out the inner beauty in us and that is showing compassion and love for one another especially the sick and the unfortunate just like was evidenced on Sunday.

The value of sport to local government and communities extends beyond sports for the sport’s sake. It can play a role in bring communities together, having a social and cultural impact, developing social capital and reducing crime and anti-social behaviour

We pay homage to the ADO Den Haag family because football was the real winner on Sunday.

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