The Zimbabwe Football Association is set to conduct a FIFA grassroots course and festival next month in Masvingo. The course will run from April 10 to 14. The course will be supervised by an instructor from Seychelles who has been seconded by world soccer governing body Fifa.
By Sports Reporter
Each of the country’s ten provinces is expected to second five representatives, the ZIFA provincial chairperson and four selected coaches to participate in the five day course.
Chairperson of the ZIFA Technical Development Committee and Vice president of the ZIFA, Omega Sibanda underscored the importance of grassroots courses, saying this course will go a long way in equipping local coach-educators with requisite skill to partake in the development of young talent.
“We are very grateful to FIFA for helping us conduct such a course, especially at a time when we are moving towards implementing the Ministry of Sport and Recreation’s nationwide multi-football club project.
“It is time for the nation to move away from treating 6-12 year olds’ football as merely recreational, we want it to be administered properly so that we adopt the bottom-up approach to development,” Sibanda said.
The major thrust of grassroots football is to take the game of football to all children between the age of 6 and 12; ensuring that they are nurtured in the best ways possible through the guidance of coach educators, not only to become professional footballers, but to become good citizens too.
“In a world where many youths are not employed, football has provided an escape route from poverty and substance abuse, therefore, we want to escalate the levels of youths who are saved from illicit ways through introducing them to organised grassroots football.
“Football as sport upholds values of fair play and tolerance, universal values which can be inculcated into children from a tender age, helping them mature into responsible citizens and professionals,” Sibanda added.
The FIFA grassroots course dovetails with the Ministry of Sport and Recreation’s 8000 football clubs countrywide project which received the backing of FIFA president, Gianni Infantino.-ZIFA