New Era (Windhoek)

20 November 2012

Namibia: U.S Nat Com Joins Galz & Goals Festival

Representatives from US Nat Com and Unicef Namibia visited the Galz & Goals demo festival at the NFA Technical Centre in Windhoek last week.

The festival was a demonstration of how the Galz & Goals festival is admistered with U-13 girls teams from the primary schools competing in 7-a-side matches.

Score Namibia, one of Galz & Goals' partners, conducted Kicking Aids Out! games with the participants.

The Unicef country representative in Namibia, Micaela Marques De Sousa and Rushnan Murtaza who is in charge of Education for HIV Prevention & Mitigation at Unicef Namibia, also attended the festival.

The visitors from US Nat Com took part in soccer matches and together with the girls, were eager to learn more about the project, aimed at increasing access to football for adolescent girls in communities throughout Namibia.

US Nat Com is an independent organisation chartered to carry out advocacy, education and fundraising on behalf of Unicef.

The Nat Com representatives were particularly impressed with the manner in which the Galz & Goals project integrates HIV/AIDS education, life skills and healthy life style components into their festivals and football activities.

The Secretary General of the NFA, Barry Rukoro, welcomed the visitors and informed them about the project that has grown from three to seven regions within a space of three years. The project has so far reached around 2 500 girls through soccer festivals with 1 870 girls now participating in the Galz & Goals league, gaining skills and knowledge through active participation in games and activities.

"There would not have been an U-20 and senior women's soccer teams of such calibre in Namibia if it was not for the Galz & Goals project engaging and grooming the girls," Rukoro said.

Jackey Gertze, the National Coordinator of Galz & Goals, emphasised the importance of the younger girls to have role models such as the four girls from the Brave Gladiators who acted as referees at the demo festival.

"The younger girls can see how far these players have come by playing football, staying healthy and taking care of themselves and are encouraged to pursue same," Gertze said.

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