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Botswana Football Association (BFA) has recently launched a FIFA Football for Schools (F4S) programme in Maun that aims at ensuring that the sport is accessible to all learners. The North West Regional Education office has since welcomed the programme to be conducted in schools.
The programme, run by FIFA, in collaboration with UNESCO aims to contribute to the education, development and empowerment of children by making football more accessible to both boys and girls around the world. This is through incorporating football activities into the education system, in partnership with relevant authorities and stakeholders.
Launching the programme over the weekend, BFA Football Technical Director Tshepo Mphukuthi indicated that FIFA, in collaboration with UNESCO, are committed to ensuring that children at school receive opportunities, especially in areas that do not have an effective club structures, therefore, schools remain the most effective and efficient avenue in which to engage young people in sport.
“Anyone who wants to play football must know that it is possible to do so through their school or community, using the facilities available in the country. While the main remit of this programme is to support the provision of football coaching and equipment to schools, FIFA encourages its member associations and in-country partners to recognize the importance of engaging with out-of-school youngsters,” he said.
According to Mphukuthi, FIFA will provide equipment as well as the online learning platform and a mobile application that provides easy-to-use content for training sessions. According to him, the platform will help educators, coaches and parents to better support, deliver and manage F4S activities in their schools and communities.
Mphukuthi has since encouraged stakeholders and relevant authorities in the region to support the programme, calling on the regional education management to help spearhead it in schools. He added that private companies should see the opportunity to reach the international world recognition by sponsoring the programme in public and private schools.
For her part, North West Regional Education Director Veronicah Mochotlhi welcomed the initiative by FIFA, indicating that they are keen about holistic development of children. She noted that sporting activities empower the child with valuable life competencies hence her ministry endorsed the programme under the auspices of FIFA and BFA.
Furthermore, Mochotlhi revealed that the programme has come at the right time, when the country is facing challenges of crimes committed by youth, illicit substance abuse and degrading behaviours amongst children in the school environment.
Mochotlhi has assured that the Ministry will continue fostering relations with other stakeholders in port for the purpose of promoting sport in the region.
“As the custodian of these children, part of our mandate is to ensure that, physical education; sport and recreation at schools are enjoyed by children at young age,” she said.