New National Grassroots Football Programme Set To Boost Youth Football Development in Singapore
12 Mar 2017
Youth development in local football is set for a revamp as Sport Singapore’s ActiveSG Football Academy announced today that it will be merging its junior programme (for children aged 6-12 years old) with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS)’s Cubs Programme. The newly-formed National Grassroots Football programme will be called the “Active Cubs Programme”.
This announcement was made at the Jurong East stadium where more than 200 participants from both programmes came together to participate in the first football festival organised by the ActiveSG Football Academy this year.
The formation of the Active Cubs Programme is the latest step taken to streamline the existing grassroots football programmes in Singapore since the launch of the ActiveSG Football Academy in April last year.
Mr Lai Chin Kwang, Chief of ActiveSG said, “We introduced the ActiveSG Football Academy to expand the participation base of football in the country and drive youth football development forward. Through our discussions with stakeholders, we recognised that there is still a large potential to increase the number of youths playing the sport and the ActiveSG Football Academy serves to bridge this gap. There is a lot of synergy with the FAS Cubs programme which has similar aims, and we appreciate their constant efforts to expand the breadth and depth of their grassroots programme. Through this collaboration with FAS, we hope to reach out to more children to help them learn and play football via an affordable, yet high quality programme.”
As part of the partnership, the ActiveSG Football Academy will manage and run all Active Cubs programmes around the island. FAS, on the other hand, will lend knowledge and expertise on youth football development to sharpen the quality of the existing academy programme. FAS will also be assisting the ActiveSG Football Academy to identify talented participants and provide a pathway for them to transition over to its elite programmes.
Aleksandar Duric, principal of the ActiveSG Football Academy said, “ActiveSG Football Academy’s first year has been a very successful one. So far, we have more than 600 participants across eight centres in Singapore. However, this is just the start and we have to keep improving if we are to produce the young and talented players needed for Singapore football to thrive in the future. We look forward to teaming up with FAS Technical Director Michel Sablon to enhance the current programme.”
While the ActiveSG Football Academy concentrates on running the Active Cubs programme, FAS will focus on increasing the number of FAS-certified grassroots coaches in Singapore. FAS will also be tasked to regulate the quality of coaching in the country by conducting various training programmes and certification courses to upgrade existing grassroots coaches and to nurture new ones.
Michel Sablon, Technical Director of FAS said, “As more youths start playing football, the number of grassroots coaches will have to go up so as to meet the growing demand. It is crucial that coaches are not overwhelmed with too many participants so each child is able to receive the required amount of attention. Our Active Cubs programme will follow a strict maximum 1:12 coach to student ratio and we want all grassroots programmes to follow suit.”
The training courses provided by FAS for coaches will also be open to all coaches from the private academies in Singapore. Sablon added, “We have been organising many grassroots coaching courses over the past two years, and I am happy to see the positive response so far. I encourage all coaches, including those from the private academies, to join our training courses to improve and provide quality coaching in accordance with the playing style and philosophy that FAS hopes to develop in all our local youth players to move Singapore football forward.”
To further consolidate efforts to develop youth football, Sport Singapore is currently in discussion with People’s Association (PA) to explore opportunities for ActiveSG Football Academy to work together with PA’s PAssion Children’s Football Programme.