New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Fifa Zeroes in On Grassroots

Namibia Football Association's Jacqueline Shipanga attended a Fifa Grassroots Seminar and Festival at Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, last week.

The Fifa Grassroots Programme is a key element of Fifa's football development efforts, aimed at getting as many people as possible involved in football, instilling human values and above all, bringing enjoyment to all simply by letting them take part.

"Fifa continues to make a difference in the lives of many communities and in particular children and Namibia is part of that development. I'm glad to have been part of such a momentous programme," said Shipanga, adding that Namibia also held a Fifa Grassroots Course in 2010, which ultimately paved the way for the current youth leagues that the NFA Technical Department has established.

"The youth committee under the stewardship of Isack Hamata, Jakes Amaning and Timo Tjongarero, guided by the NFA Technical Department, will continue to provide a conducive platform for early talent identification and coaching development and to involve coaches that were in attendance of that particular grassroots course, in the youth leagues," Shipanga said.

The seminar held on June 19, was dedicated to professionals and more specifically, grassroots instructors.

The ultimate aim was to share experiences, learn about new materials, enhance the programme's original concept and discuss instructors' roles and responsibilities.

A Fifa grassroots event is generally made up of a 4-day course for coaches/educators, followed by a festival geared towards children (boys and girls between the age of 6 and 12) organized by football associations of countries. Fifa provides instructors, financial support for the courses and festival, as well as playing kit and equipment for the event.

In Zurich, Fifa deve-lopment officers attracted 40 grassroots instructors from all four corners of the globe, who were upfdated on the approach, content, structure and support given by Fifa and learning materials for grassroots projects.

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