Zifa will conduct a Fifa grassroots coaching course in Masvingo next week as part of the association’s plan to equip low-level local coaches.
By SPORTS REPORTER
The five-day course will begin on April 10 with over 60 coaches set to take part.
According to Zifa, each of the country’s 10 provinces will send six representatives consisting of the Zifa provincial chairperson, three male coaches and two female coaches.
The course will be conducted by Fifa instructor Ulric Mathiot from the Seychelles.
Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda, who is also the chairperson of the Zifa Technical Development Committee, underscored the importance of grassroots courses, saying they go a long way in equipping local coach-educators with requisite skills to partake in the development of young talent.
“We are very grateful to Fifa for helping us conduct such a course, especially at a time when we are moving towards implementing the Ministry of Sport and Recreation’s nationwide multi-football club project.
“It is time for the nation to move away from treating six to 12-year-olds’ football as merely recreational. We want it to be administered properly so that we adopt the bottom-up approach to development,” Sibanda said yesterday.
He added: “The major thrust of grassroots football is to take the game of football to all children between the ages of six and 12, ensuring that they are nurtured in the best ways possible through the guidance of coach educators, not only to become professional footballers, but to become good citizens too.
“In a world where many youths are not employed, football has provided an escape route from poverty and substance abuse, therefore, we want to escalate the levels of youths who are saved from illicit ways through introducing them to organised grassroots football.
“Football as sport upholds values of fair play and tolerance, universal values which can be inculcated into children from a tender age, helping them mature into responsible citizens and professionals.”
The Fifa grassroots course dovetails with the Ministry of Sport and Recreation’s 8 000 football clubs countrywide project which received the backing of Fifa president Gianni Infantino when he visited the country last month.