Clinics and presidential lunches: Local football instructor enjoys experience of a lifetime

April 20, 2024 BY

L-R: President of Timor-Leste José Ramos-Horta alongside Robbie Krasic. Photos: SUPPLIED

THE owner of a Geelong football academy says he had a life-changing experience, visiting and connecting with communities in Timor-Leste earlier this month through the game he loves.

Business owner of Kick Academy in Geelong, Robbie Krasic, spent five days in the Oceanic country of Timor-Leste, a 50-minute plane ride from Australia’s northern coastline.

Alongside friend and Good Business Foundation worker, Stuart Thompson, Krasic engaged with local residents, running clinics and drills with children, while donating more than 60 balls to three different communities through the Park charity and socks through Posi Socks, a sock company which raises funds for special causes.

“It was an experience I’ll never forget. [It was] a complete eye-opener seeing how people live around the world and how close this place is to Australia,” Krasic said.

“The people were so friendly, very welcoming. [It was] just a great experience, and as soon as the kids saw the footballs we had, their eyes just lit up.

“It was seeing the idea of The World Game in its rawest form; it brought happiness to everyone involved.”

Robbie Krasic (back right) with close friend Stuart Thomson (back left) following one of their football clinics with local children.

At one of the stops, Krasic’s generosity caught the attention of José Ramos-Horta, the president of Timor-Leste, who then extended a personal invitation to visit the Presidential Palace.

Krasic was able to run a special soccer clinic for local children at the palace, which was then followed by a lunch hosted by President Ramos-Horta himself.

“What an experience. To be asked by a country’s leader to host a clinic, it was an amazing honour,” Krasic said.

Kick Academy owner Robbie Krasic with Timor-Leste president José Ramos-Horta and local children following a special clinic.

“He opens his doors every day and invites local kids in to eat, which is amazing, and I was able to talk to him. He’s a good man who cares for his country.

“He just wants to do good, and it was a genuine honour to sit down with him and have lunch.”

Krasic said he now plans to return to Timor-Leste every six to 12 months to host Street Football tournaments and is eager to share the experience with his own children.