Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
The Digicel-Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Grassroots Programme is all set to enter Manchester for another staging of the initiative that has been gathering interest from children islandwide.
Today's activity will take place at Church Teachers' College on Manchester Road in Mandeville.
The programme will begin with the coach educators' session, scheduled from 10 a.m. until noon, to be followed by the festival for children aged 6-12, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
"It is going very good. Every parish that we've entered so far, the response has been tremendous. We've had in excess of 100 kids as well as educators that have attended in the nine parishes we've been to so far," André Virtue, the programme's national coordinator, told The Gleaner yesterday.
"We are meeting our objective of introducing the sport to kids in all 14 parishes. The kids are having fun and that is great for the programme," Virtue added.
After Manchester, the programme will head to Clarendon, St Catherine, then Kingston and St Andrew.
INTRODUCING CHILDREN TO SPORT
The programme started in May 2012 and is aimed at introducing the sport to children. It is guided by the philosophy that children learn best through play and the more they play, is the more they learn. Each day's activities are split into two components, a coach educators' session drawing on community representatives, in which the best way to interact and get the best out of this age group is discussed.
The second component is the festival, which is structured into small-side games that facilitate the children having maximum use of the ball through exercises, which include heading, kicking, shooting and all the key components of the game.
At the launch of the initiative last May at the JFF's head office in New Kingston, JFF President Captain Horace Burrell was delighted about the programme, which is endorsed by FIFA.
"A revolution in football has commenced, because when you have youngsters in an organised way with their parents behind them and the communities, this is going to ignite a kind of passion that no one thought of," Burrell had stated.
The programme, undertaken by the JFF in collaboration with title sponsor Digicel, is in the first of a three-year deal.