Two soccer-loving Sechelt boys took on a weekly job for four years to earn their way to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil — and in July they reached their goal.
“It was like we’d lost a bunch of weight from our shoulders, like we’d done this huge goal,” said 13-year-old Luiz Seda.
Luiz and Leandro Seda knew they wanted to go to the 2014 World Cup back in 2010, when Luiz was 9 and Leandro was 7.
Both the brothers were avid soccer players, huge soccer fans, and they had family back in Brazil they wanted to see again.
Vowing to pay their own way, the boys took on a paper route with Coast Reporter in 2010.
After getting comfortable with the job, Luiz and Leandro soon took on another route, delivering a total of 217 papers each week with their mother Rosa’s help.
The job often took the boys away from friends and after-school activities, but they were committed to doing it well and reaching their goal.
Their dedication shone through, and some people started to leave tips for the Seda boys.
Luiz and Leandro saved every penny of the money they made from their paper route pay cheques, but used their tips to buy things like iPods and video games over the years.
When the time came for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Luiz and Leandro had saved nearly $5,000 through their weekly work.
It was enough to pay for their airfare and their mother’s, as well as buy tickets to two World Cup games for the trio. They were able to see Greece versus the Ivory Coast and Germany versus Ghana.
“The stadium had capacity for 60,000 to 70,000 and it was full,” Luiz said, noting there was lots of chanting and representation from fans around the world, which was exciting.
“The Germans just wouldn’t stop chanting. The people from Ghana, they had their instruments. The Greeks came in Sparta outfits, so it was really neat.”
Rosa said the stadium was beautiful and noted she watched her quieter son Leandro’s “jaw just drop” at the sight of it all.
The trio visited family and friends in Brazil before returning home with a new goal in mind.
“Now we’re saving for the 2018 World Cup in Russia,” Luiz said, adding this time his grandma is planning to join them so the boys may pay some of her way, too.
Rosa said she’s very proud of her sons’ ability to save and their work ethic, which she knows isn’t the norm for most kids their age.
Luiz is proud too.
“I knew that if I just kept doing it, I could get there,” he said. He encourages other kids to “just pick a goal and work towards it.”
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