Africa: CAF Conducts Performance Monitoring Workshop in Johannesburg

The use of innovative technology has formed a key aspect in the overall growth of football on the African continent. The latest innovation being brought forth by CAF is through their partnership with Catapult GPS System which will see the African football governing body assisting the affiliated 54 Member Associations (MA's) with the player performance technology.

CAF, in partnership with Catapult are currently in Johannesburg, South Africa for a four-day workshop consisting of participants from different Member Associations comprising of coaches, fitness trainers and administrators.

The four-day workshop which kicked off on Friday, 23 February is spearheaded by CAF's Director of Football Development, Raul Neven Chipenda alongside Catapult's Conor Branson, is one of many that will be rolled out to ensure that the continent is aware of the great benefits that come with the technology.

Speaking at the opening day of the workshop, Chipenda said the MA's can benefit greatly from the technology as they can now get immediate or live feedback on the performance and cardiovascular wellbeing of players.

"Through this technology, coaches and trainers can now get live and accurate information about their players' performances which will make training sessions and performance monitoring easier and more accurate," said Chipenda.

"Such technology affords coaches to make more informed decisions when it comes to resting or substituting players based on the amount of work they have put in during training or matches. This is highly important for health monitoring as well and the overall development of football."

Echoing the CAF Director of Football development's sentiments was Botswana Football Association's Precious Oatile who heaped praise on CAF for making such efforts which would in her opinion contribute to the growth of women's football in Botswana.

"I am very pleased with this course from CAF which will help our players, more especially our women footballers as we are working hard to help them grow into becoming professional footballers. Through such technology and the help from CAF, we will be able to know their level in terms of their health and fitness," Oatile remarked.

"They will be able to even monitor their own health and heart rate which will be of great benefit to them. I am really honoured to be a part of this and urge CAF to keep up the amazing work they are doing on the continent in developing football," she concluded.

Since partnering with Catupult GPS Systems, CAF has donated three sets of 25 devices to the 54 MA's as part of the African football governing body's undying efforts of football development on the continent.

The technology is the latest in a series of wearable athlete tracking products. It features a device worn in a vest between the shoulder blades which measures over 1,000 data points per second to build up a detailed picture of performance.

Player performance aspects covered by the technology included distance, speed, load, work ratio and heart rate in real-time which enables coaches and physical trainers to reach a more detailed understanding of team and player performance while monitoring the health of the player.

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