|Singapore, 6 December 2013 - The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has today concluded its fourth annual FIFA Grassroots Course and Festival, with some of its participants set to conduct junior football programmes in collaboration with the Singapore Sports Council's (SSC's) rebranded network of Super Sports Clubs, ActiveSG.
2 The FIFA Grassroots Course and Festival is designed to aid its participants, also known as coach-educators, in acquiring international standards of coaching children aged six to 12 years in football. The Course, which comprises theoretical and practical sessions, prepares coach-educators to teach football to children through encouragement and achievement. It also advocates that they supervise, reassure and motivate children to play football for fun as the best means of learning the sport.
3 Coach-educators from S.League clubs Warriors Football Club (FC), Home United FC, and Balestier Khalsa FC, will be among the first batch of coaches to deliver structured football programmes in partnership with ActiveSG beginning next year. These programmes will be conducted with a deliberate focus on providing children aged 12 years and below with playing opportunities and enjoyable experiences in football. The programmes will also impart sporting values such as leadership and teamwork to the junior participants as part of their overall development.
4 Explaining how the partnership will raise the standards of football coaching for children, Mr Lai Chin Kwang, Chief, Sports Club Group, SSC, said, "The coach-educators will bring a different dimension to the football programmes catered to children in our community. They will be able to apply what they have acquired through the course to help these kids discover the joys of football and initiate their learning through play. Under the guidance of these coach-educators, these junior participants will come to appreciate the values of working together as a team, showing respect to opponents and demonstrating fair play during the game. In the long term, we can also imbue leadership qualities through these football programmes."
5 Mr Kok Wai Leong, Director of Operations, S.League, said, "The S.League clubs are most supportive of the ActiveSG programme in promoting football to the public. This is one of the ways S.League clubs can contribute back to the community. It is also a continuing step in FAS' strategic plans to promote and develop interest in football among children aged six to 12 years at the grassroots level. The annual FIFA Grassroots Course and Festival will ensure that the kids benefit from age-appropriate coaching and well-run football programmes."
6 Thirty coach-educators, majority of whom are from S.League clubs, attended the Course, which had been held at Republic Polytechnic (RP) from 2 to 6 December and conducted under the supervision of Mr Samuel Schweingruber, a FIFA instructor based in Cambodia.
7 This year's Course culminated in a festival where the coach-educators conducted age-appropriate activities, featuring small sided games and individual skill development drills, for more than 100 junior participants to improve their technique and intelligence of the sport, as well as to boost their enthusiasm for the beautiful game.
8 "Children develop differently from the youth and adolescents. Thus, it is important for the coach-educators to be equipped with the suitable means and methods to expose children to enjoyable experiences in football. The course also encourages the coach-educators to adopt an educational approach to covey values such as respect, solidarity, mutual support and sharing to these kids through the sport. This will ultimately maximise participation opportunities in grassroots football, which the local football and sports authorities have clearly shown their support for," said Mr Schweingruber.
9 A team of Final Year Project (FYP) students from RP's School of Sports, Health and Leisure worked closely with FAS to prepare a presentation on the importance of grassroots coaching in Singapore, which was delivered during the course. RP is the only polytechnic in Singapore that has a dedicated school for the education of future sports professionals, utilising its unique Problem-based Learning (PBL) pedagogy.