What you do miss the most? Brotherhood

Regardless of the teams I’ve played on or games we’ve won and lost, the one thing that stayed consistent is the brotherhood of football .

Akwasi Antwi

Playing sports has always been a big part of my life. As an African, soccer is a birthright so it’s no surprise that I started playing soccer then moved on to basketball, then later on football came calling. Sports have a way of connecting people together from all different backgrounds. Most of my friends know me as the guy that played football both at the collegiate and the professional level, except for my father who to this day argues the game should be called something else.  Now that my competitive playing days are behind me, a common question I am asked is “what do you miss most about playing”. My answer is always the same: “the people and the relationships”.

Although I do miss being in shape and running downfield to tackle a player from the opposing team, some of my most fond memories from my playing days happened off the field. From conversations on a long bus ride or playing cards with my teammates the night before game days, I believe the greatest sports organizations – college or pro level – are the ones that foster strong relationships on and off the field.

Games are played once a week for 3 hours but preparation spans throughout the week. In college you have your 6 am runs and practice/film in the evenings, somedays you run together, eat together and go to class/study hall together.  Fundamentally, from waking up for early morning runs, sharing group meals, every professor thinking their class is the only one that matters and our coach exhausting the team at practice because someone missed class;  You build a sense of brotherhood.

Brotherhood is a unique sense of shared interest and community. You develop a greater respect for everyone you play with and not just for those on your team; for opposing teams as well. When a player goes down you take a knee as a sign of respect to their dedication and hard work and hope that they are fine.

This organization will not include running down the field to tackle opposing teams or waking up 5 am for morning runs, rather the strength of Calgary Black Chambers will be measured by the bonds and relationships we create. With fellowship as a core value, I encourage you to share, connect and build a better understanding of each other, especially now. We all might be in different phases of our careers and personal lives but regardless of those differences, we can extend a hand to support each other. Sports taught me to support and encourage my fellow members because a win for them is a win for us. With a oneness approach, we can influence the culture and economic landscape of Calgary currently and in the future.

Regardless of the teams I’ve played on or games we’ve won and lost, the one thing that stayed consistent is the brotherhood of football.  Thus I’ve helped build a new community of people from different backgrounds linked by a common interest.  Let’s continue to build the fellowship of Calgary Black Chambers and enjoy what it can become.