Friday , April 19 2024

FIFA Football for Schools supporting social & sporting transformation in the Middle East!

If the FIFA World Cup 2022 has given wings to host country Qatar, as witnessed by its recent AFC Asian Cup triumph, it is a whole region that shares in the tremendous legacy left by the showpiece event.

Indeed, the impact of the World Cup has benefited the entire Middle East, both in sporting and social terms: the Football for Schools launch days in Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman in February were further proof of this.

In the past, for essentially cultural reasons, football was almost exclusively played by men in the region. Just a few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine women teaching children the basics of the sport. But times and attitudes have changed. And it’s this evolution that F4S has been both spectator and actor over the last few weeks.

Already present in more than half of FIFA’s Member Associations, Football for Schools aims to make football more accessible to all, especially girls, while strengthening the education system through the values of sport.

The implementation of the program in each country includes a two-day training seminar for educators, and a launch day attended by the project’s target pupils. And whether in Kuwait, Bahrain or Oman, both women – on the teachers’ side – and girls – on the students’ – have responded.

“It’s a great source of pride to be part of this initiative, which above all promotes inclusion, sportsmanship and the love of the game,” enthused Mrs Mais, a teacher in Kuwait. “As a physical education teacher, this program enables me to acquire innovative teaching techniques and strategies, so that students feel more involved.”

“Beyond football skills, Football for Schools offers a supportive and inclusive environment where every child feels valued and empowered,” she continued. “Witnessing the enthusiasm and passion of the children who learn and grow through this program motivates me to keep trying to help them progress in their lives.”

In all, 38 women – 19 in Kuwait, 10 in Bahrain and 9 in Oman – took part in the training days and became “Football for Schools ambassadors”, as program director Fatimata Sidibe likes to call them. “Ambassadors”, because these women – like their male colleagues – will be called upon to embody Football for Schools and in turn train other teachers in this methodology.

While women made up more than a third of the educators’ contingent, girls and boys were equally represented among the students in Bahrain and Oman for the launch days. Only a hitch in the school timetable prevented the number of pupils from being balanced in Kuwait.

“This program will benefit all Kuwaiti children,” insisted Ms. Hissa, who also took part in the training led by Football for Schools manager Antonio Buenaño Sánchez. “It will allow them to learn to play soccer, or improve their soccer skills, in a way that is both fun and competitive,” she continued, adding that in Kuwait it has been decided that F4S will be linked to the FIFA Talent Development Program, as part of a strategy recently launched by the Kuwaiti Football Federation called “Vision 2030”.

She added: “I strongly encourage parents, teachers and educators to teach their children football through this program and its application. As well as helping them to progress with the ball, Football for Schools teaches them many skills that will be useful in their everyday lives. As a teacher, not only does it improve my teaching skills, but it also brings good humour and enthusiasm to the children I work with.”

The smiles and eagerness of all these schoolchildren – boys and girls alike – to take part in exercise after exercise and match after match spoke for themselves during the three-day Football for Schools launch. That’s the magic of football and the magic of the FIFA World Cup!

About Press Release

Check Also

Tender process opens for media rights to FIFA tournaments in Indonesia!

FIFA has launched an invitation to tender (ITT) in Indonesia for the media rights to …