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Young footballers get better coaching opportunities

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A participant sharing the finer tips about football with his charges. (Photos by VOXSPORTS)

Aspiring junior footballers should get a kick out of this!

Hundreds of children aged between six to twelve will get to experience new and exciting training and coaching techniques from a new batch of coach-educators who have just graduated from the fourth FIFA Grassroots Course. The new coach-educators will conduct junior football programmes from early next year in collaboration with the Singapore Sports Council’s (SSC’s) re-branded Super Sports Clubs, ActiveSG. When it launches in early 2014, ActiveSG aims to deliver innovative sports programmes to Singaporeans of all ages and abilities. 

Having graduated from the FIFA Grassroots course, the coach-educators have acquired an international standard as football coaches for children. With emphasis on encouragement and achievements, the coach-educators are trained to supervise, reassure and motivate children to play football for fun as the best way to learn the sport.

Coach Zahid Ahmad giving the boys encouragement after he clears the station.

Coach-educators from the Warriors Football Club (FC), Home United FC, and Balestier Khalsa FC, will be among the first batch of coaches who will deliver the structured football programmes in partnership with ActiveSG. These programmes will focus on providing children below the age of 12 with playing opportunities and enjoyable playing experiences. Sporting values like leadership and teamwork amongst the junior participants will also be imparted as part of their overall development.

"The coach-educators will bring a different dimension to the football programmes catered to children in our community. They will be able to apply what they have learnt through the course to help the kids discover the joys of football and initiate their learning through play,” explained Lai Chin Kwang, Chief, Sports Club Group, SSC.

S.League Director of Operations, Kok Wai Leong firmly believes in nurturing talent from a young age. “This is one of the ways S.League clubs can contribute to the community. The annual FIFA Grassroots Course and Festival will ensure that the kids benefit from age-appropriate coaching and well-run football programmes.”

FIFA Instructor Samuel Schweingruber is optimistic of the effect these programmes will have on the community, “This will ultimately maximise participation opportunities in grassroots football, which the local football and sports authorities have clearly shown their support for,” explained the Swiss who is also Cambodia’s Under-16 national team coach.

The culmination of this course saw more than 100 junior participants taking part in a festival where the coach-educators conducted age-appropriate activities at Republic Polytechnic.

It also featured small sided games and individual skill development drills, focused to improve the participant’s technique and intelligence of the sport, as well as to boost their enthusiasm for the beautiful game.

Former Singapore national goalkeeper Adi Salleh said, “I am familiar with competitive and professional coaching, but this is a different perspective as we are geared towards the age groups and for mass participation. There is a fun element to it and the main aspect is to get the community engaged in this grassroots coaching.”
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