Dedza: Football Association of Malawi (FAM) engaged schools in Dedza in a Grassroots Football Festival.
The festival which was held on Saturday at the Dedza stadium involved 300 boys and girls from Kapesi, Dedza LEA, Chipalukwa, Roman Catholic and Dedza Government primary schools.
The project funded by FIFA follows a decision to promote male and female youth football as a key priority, with the aim of boosting participation and ensuring a stronger pathway from grassroots to elite-level football for young players.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Central Region Coordinator for the Grassroots Programme, Mc Williams Nkunika said grassroots football is very important for a national team to perform well.
“All countries who have won the World Cup have this programme in their countries. We are targeting children from six to 12 years in order for them to develop an interest in the game from a younger age,” he said.
Nkunika added that girls are being encouraged to take part in football as a way of ensuring that the women’s football team which participated in the COSAFA cup this year should have a bright future.
Chairperson for Malawi Schools Sports Association (Massa) in Dedza, Makaka Nkhoma commended FAM for bringing the festival to Dedza.
Children should be encouraged to take part in football from a younger age. Once children start getting interested in football from a tender age, it becomes easier for coaches to mentor them and hence they will become brilliant players who can help our national team, he observed.
Nkhoma advised parents to allow their children to have time for sporting activities.
The Grassroots festival was first conducted in Salima and Dedza is the second district.
FIFA will contribute to the project with technical education for coaches and referees, equipment for training and competitions on an overall budget of US$ 15 million until 2018.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA