How can we better equip young players to explore their potential in the right way early in their football development life cycle?

This question fosters FIFA’s Football For Schools program, a collaborative initiative between FIFA and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with a mission to impact over 700 million children worldwide, regardless of gender.

Children are highly receptive to learning and are unafraid to admit when they lack knowledge, which fuels their eagerness to acquire information. Thus, the best time to instill knowledge and interest in football is during their formative years.

Through the Football For Schools program, the Football Kenya Federation aims to promote key football development agendas, particularly Youth and Women’s Football. It provides children across the country with an opportunity not only to embrace the love of the sport but also to receive proper training during their early football development stages.

The children have had a lack of proper training and training equipment, with this program, they will be able to get footballs and proper training equipment.

To achieve this, 50 coach educators, selected from teachers across all 47 counties in the country, with a keen interest in primary school football, recently attended a three-day football and life skills training session in Kakamega and have successfully received their certifications.

Subsequently, these educators will be tasked by FKF to conduct select football and life skills programs in their respective regions.

The educators were introduced to the Football For Schools digital app during the training and familiarized themselves with the app and participated in practical sessions, applying some of the included modules.

“On Friday, we introduced them to the app and demonstrated how to upload life skills and training sessions to it. The next day, on Saturday, we allowed them to take the lead and assisted them where needed. Today, they had a hands-on experience with 100 girls and boys from Kakamega county, learning how to conduct sessions tailored to their teams,” shared Football For Schools Manager Antonio BuenaƱo.

Going forward, the certified educators will continue their role of conducting football and life skills programs in their regions, fostering the growth of young footballers.

“We are pleased that teachers were included in this program since they spend most of the day with the children. With this initiative, we can teach our children life skills and engage them in football during their free time. Our Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) also emphasizes incorporating talent in the school education system,” added Hassan Duale, Ministry of Education Director of co-curriculum activities.

Furthermore, the federation will prioritize the educators’ participation in coaching courses to provide them with a basic understanding of football. This knowledge will enable them to effectively nurture the young children’s football journey.

“Our main priorities are women’s and youth football. To enhance this program further, we plan to involve teachers in our coaching courses to equip them with fundamental football knowledge,” stated FKF president Nick Mwendwa.

The next phase of the program involves the rollout of the initiative, where schools participating in the program will receive footballs and training equipment. The coach educators will then proceed to train primary school teachers in their respective regions, passing on the knowledge gained to the young students.

In the long run, this initiative will not only provide children with opportunities to showcase their football potential early in their development but also ensure that they receive guidance from qualified personnel. By focusing on quality coaching and life skills education, the program aims to establish a solid foundation for the future of Kenyan football, ensuring its continuous growth and success.

Also read: Special Needs Teacher to Use Football For Schools Program to Impart Interest to Learners