Spread the love

Faith Nyasuguta

In a significant stride toward fostering football enthusiasm among Sierra Leonean youth, the Football for Schools (F4S) programme, backed by FIFA, recently made its debut in the country. The initiative took root in Makeni, where fifty physical education teachers from Sierra Leone’s 16 districts gathered for a comprehensive two-day training event led by FIFA coaches.

F4S aims to integrate football activities into the educational framework, bringing the sport closer to young individuals and enhancing its accessibility

Sierra Leone’s participation marks its induction as the 107th country into this global football initiative. The event served as a platform for instructors to delve into the fundamentals of the programme, guided by F4S experts, before transitioning to practical implementation with 125 eager children on the final day.

Diego Kamara, one of the instructors, emphasized the significance of football for Sierra Leone, especially in schools, viewing it as a pivotal avenue for nurturing the country’s future talents. “If we can excel well in football, it can be a boost to our country and represent us internationally,” he highlighted.

The program does not merely focus on skills development but also emphasizes the unifying and bonding aspects of football. Haja Bangura, a student participant, expressed her aspirations, saying, “It helps us learn to move our bodies and unites us. When my friend and I play, it brings us together because somewhere, someday, we’re both going to make it.”

The positive impact of sports on young lives was highlighted by George Conteh, a parent whose own life experiences testify to its transformative potential.

Reflecting on his past, Conteh shared, “Sport is very important to me and my family because I know what I achieve and get from it. When I was 15, I lost my parents, and through sport, I was able to get people around me to help me.”

Harold Nat-Johnson, the Vice-President of Sierra Leone FA, highlighted the broader strategic vision behind this initiative. “When I took office, one of my goals was to boost youth football and get schools involved. That is why we kept knocking on the doors of FIFA, and today, we are the happiest people here because we know it’s a landmark and we intend to continue,” he remarked.

Supported by UNESCO, Football for Schools transcends sports, contributing to the education, development, and empowerment of around 700 million children globally

The programme, inaugurated in Puerto Rico in 2019, has evolved into a beacon of opportunity, uniting nations through the universal language of football. As Sierra Leone embraces this initiative, the journey promises not just skill acquisition but also a shared sense of purpose and camaraderie among its youth.


About Author

Faith Nyasuguta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *