The FIFA grassroots football programme-popular among youths has finally found its footing in Uganda. The programme targets the youths- girls and boys from the ages of 8 to 13 .
The programme was launched on Monday 15th September at the Ministry of Education and Sports headquarters, Embassy House in Kampala. The launch was followed by the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding involving the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Education and sports.
FIFA Technical Development Officer Mr. Govinden Thondoo witnessed the ceremony that was attended by FUFA gurus; President Eng Moses Magogo, Vice President Darius Mugoye, Chief Executive Officer Edgar Watson and Technical Director Asuman Lubowa. The government was represented by Mr Moses Byanguye (Local government) and Sammy Odong ( Assistant Commissioner-Sports-Ministry of Education and Sports).
Thondoo used the plat form to praise Uganda upon this momentous opportunity. “It is vital to create partnership with institutions that have control over kids who are the main target. I therefore congratulate you on behalf of the FIFA president who has put a lot of emphasis in this project to take off in Uganda” he said.
Uganda was among the three countries left to launch the project as Kenya and Zambia are yet to land the programme.
Thondoo highlighted how it is everyone’s responsibility to keep the project sustainable.
‘It is easy to launch this project, but how to enroll it remains a bit challenging’ added Thondoo.
The grassroots project is marking its 6th year running where 77,000 kids have already gone through it.
Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) president, Eng Moses Magogo, hinting on the 4 different stages of football during the launch ceremony urged all Ugandans to give the project the due blessings and support for its eventual success.
‘By grassroot, we are introducing the sport to the kids, followed by the age group of 13 -17 years bracket (school football), followed by that stage of preparing the players for the bigger stage and finally the national team’ said Magogo
‘We believe in this project and it is part of our four year development plan’ remarked the FUFA President.
Eng Magogo reminded the gathering about the special roles the ministry of education and sports, the fourth estate (media) has to play to make this project a success.
‘We know without them we can’t achieve this goal. Uganda is endowed with huge talent but we need to discover and develop it’ added Magogo.
Local Government representative, John Genda Walala lauded the project, which he believes will bring a lot of interest among the kids so that they fall in love with the beautiful game and Uganda in general. He however cautioned all the concerned parties to work together to ensure that the programme becomes a success.
Sammy Odong who is the assistant commissioner of sports in the ministry of education and sports said ’95%of the youths are in schools so this project will be welcome in this area as they are disciplined and it is a co- curricular activity. This programme will impart skills among kids but they need a follow up’
The FUFA technical director Asuman Lubowa revealed that the programme started today by educating teachers who will help enroll the programme in the various schools. It will be a five day training programme at FUFA Technical centre in Njeru.