FIFA launches Football for Schools Caribbean Workshop in MoBay
Jamaica notched yet another first in global football yesterday, becoming the first nation in the Concacaf region to host a FIFA Football for Schools (F4S) workshop, which is a collaboration between FIFA and UNESCO to educate, develop and empower some 700 million children across the globe.
Speaking at the launch of the event in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Football Federation’s (JFF) president, Michael Ricketts, who participated in the event, welcomed the initiative, which he says will not only help to create opportunities for dysfunctional youngsters but will complement the excellent work being done by the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) to promote the development of football at the junior level.
“This will help dysfunctional boys and girls … it will offer an opportunity to address the social well-being of this group, “ said Ricketts, noting its scope to expose and develop new talent in a structured way. “We must applaud the role that ISSA has been playing over the years in developing talents and this initiative will greatly boost what is already been done.”
Under the programme, member associations of FIFA from the region, who are participating in the programme, will get a one-off payment of US$50,000 to run their individual programmes which will be guided by key objectives such as a result-based management framework and theory of change, which is expected to develop intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cognitive skills.
Fatimata Sow Sidibe, FIFA’s Football for Schools director, says ultimately, the initiative is geared towards equipping those involved in the sport to not only become better footballers but to become better persons in other spheres of life.
“This initiative will expand football globally and help the participants to become better global citizens,” noted Sidibe. “We want every child across the world to have the opportunity to play football through the 211 members associations and in doing so, we want them to learn and develop important life skills.”
In welcoming the FIFA delegation and the representatives of various regional associations from Concacaf, Montego Bay Mayor Leeroy Williams said the western city is delighted to be hosting such an important event and expressed the hope that staging such an important event will boost the city as a sports tourism destination.
“Sports is a unifying force, it brings the world together, so we are happy to welcome this event. I hope that it will provide an opportunity for Jamaica to tap into the global sports tourism market.” said Williams, who noted that he would have been even happier it was being staged during the high school football season, which would have given the visitors a chance to see the best of the island’s youth football talent.
In giving an overview of the programme, Sidibe said one crucial component of the programme will be a results-based monitoring and evaluation for which a part of the US$50,000 will be set aside for.
“The monitoring and evaluation will offer the scope for FIFA and UNESCO to collate and analyse data and refine data collection tools, collate data from all schools and share with FIFA/UNESCO,” said Sidibe.
Sidibe further noted that ultimately in the programme four life-skills themes will be achieved. They were listed as follows: (1) Personal understanding. (2) Relationships (3) Living in the wider world. (4) Health and Well-being.
Some of the special components of the programme are: (a) A free digital application. (b) An online learning platform with relevant content for programme stakeholders and (c) The provision of equipment (including size four adidas footballs).