CAF’s ‘Educators Workshop’ ends

A FIFA instructor, Mad. Fran Yilton Smith has indicated that Grassroots football was the future for any country serious about developing its football.
Madam Fran emphasised that the age periods between 6-12 years are the best ages to teach and nurture the skills of young footballers therefore attention must be given them at this level to hone their talents.

She made the remark at a one-day workshop organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) dubbed the “Educators workshop” in collaboration with Books and Boots Foundation at the Mensvic Hotel last Thursday.

It was attended by over 41 educators, volunteers and coaches at the grassroots level.

Mad. Fran urged grassroots coaches and instructors to adopt the small-side games (SSG) system of training the kids because that was the key to football development.

“Studies have shown that kids that are grouped SSG’s of 4×4, 5×5 and 7×7 tend to touch the ball more than kids who play 11×11.

“The reason is to allow the kids touch the ball as often as possible, a strategy that is guaranteed under the SSG system more than the 11×11″.

The veteran FIFA Instructor also advised the educators to create a lively environment where the kids will enjoy learning and playing.

She said without a solid programme at the grassroots level, no country can build a strong national side in this era where the game was evolving and getting highly competitive.

Madam Fran also recounted fond memories of how Ghanaian coaching legends C.K Gyamfi and Ben Koufie guided her in attaining her coaching courses.

The Director of football at CAF, a former Angola international, Raul Nerves Chipenda on his part reiterated the importance of education as part of CAF’s football development vision.

“If children who dream of becoming footballers don’t want to attend school, then we must take football to the schools,” he stated.

The workshop was followed by a practical session for young footballers and their instructors at the University of Ghana Ajax Park where they were taken through various basic drills including turning, marking, shooting, dribbling and defending under the supervision of Raul Chipenda.

Boots and Books is a non- private organisation that has over the years impacted young people through social integration programmes, education and sports.

BY NANA BENTSI ODURO 

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