Twenty participants from Southern Division took part in the Fiji Football Association grassroots football development course at the Fiji Football Association’s headquarters in Vatuwaqa, Suva last weekend.

Course instructor Yogendra Dutt said the three-day development programme was designed to assist participants to create appropriate and enjoyable football activities for children aged between 6 to 14 years.

“We have participants who deal with children and most of them are teachers and former players, “said Dutt.

“The Grassroots programme is aimed at children aged between 6 and 14. The focus is not on intensive training, but on playing football for fun and exercise. The aim is to promote football for all, “said Dutt.

Dutt said the grassroots development was very right time to shape the development of players.

“As we talk about development and I think at the age of 6-14 is the best time to shape the players and teach them the basic skills and this is what the participants are equipped with in this course. “said Dutt.

“The participants will learn how to conduct training sessions, how long to do a sessions and how to deal with the children and trained everything regarding football.”

The former Ba coach said the coached would be accessed before given the certificates.

“From here some of these participants will take charge of Fiji FA development centres and some will be part of the Mom & Pop League which will start soon.”

“These coaches mission is essentially to convey knowledge and social skills.

To achieve this, the coaches must know the child, understand his/her characteristics and take into account age and skills. In short, they must teach through encouragement and achievement.

“Play is children’s main activity. Play is an essential need, innate in all children.

Thus, the main objectives of grassroots football are to introduce children to football and initiate them in the practice of football through play, “said Dutt.

Dutt said it was a very challenging task for these coaches.

“It is very challenging as this is the first time the member association courses have been offered in the country, it is a new convention of by FIFA and OFC whereby the MA’s are conducting such course and it is quiet challenging as sometimes people feel that it is just a member association course but there is lot of importance and value in this course.

Dutt said the participants would be accessed.

“The will be given a workbook to be completed by working in their areas where they will conduct their programs, “said Dutt.

The Fiji Grassroots Development program was also held in Labasa last weekend and moves to west this weekend.

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