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CAPE TOWN, South Africa – The CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier has been tipped to light up Lilongwe, Malawi this week as the best young talent from the region gathers to earn a place in the continental finals.
The competing teams have already been through a qualifying process in their own countries, and now meet in the hope of being crowned regional winners in the boys’ and girls’ competitions.
But before the games get under way on Saturday, according to organizers, there will be many off-pitch activities to both set the scene in Lilongwe, and also provide potentially life-changing skills that could steer those who take part on a new path.
Earlier in October, CAF African Schools Football Championship, UNAF zonal phase took place in Cairo, Egypt.
CAF also organized separate workshops for the coaches, young reporters, young referees and a medical workshop themed, “Nutritional requirements for a balanced diet for adolescent athletes to crown the day.”
The workshops were conducted and instructed by experts in the various the field.
Director and coach of INF Clairefontaine, Jean Claude Lafargue and Loduvic Debru from the French Football Federation were the conductors for the coaches’ workshops. FIFA and CAF Media Officer, Mondher Chaouachi handled the young reporters’ workshop while Hamdy Fathy and Pussy Said were the conductors for the young referees’ workshop with Dr. Saida Ayachi conducting the medical workshop.
Moreover, about 25 girls and boys took part in safeguarding workshop on Friday, and young reporters and referees workshops on Saturday.
The workshops aimed to empower and encourage young participants to stay in the game and the social impact of football in the communities and countries where the schools are – using the game to change the face of Africa.
One of CAF’s major objectives is to use this competition to develop and grow youth and schools football on the African Continent.
The CAF African Schools Football Programme is a partnership involving CAF, African Governments, and Football Associations from 41 participating countries. The Programme also involves the provision of education, coaching, football and skills development courses.
The Programme focuses on capacity building in areas of governance, coaching, education and media for the participating countries.
The participating schools will also benefit from the capacity-building and training program. Teachers will be selected to enroll in CAF coaching programmes.
Children from each participating school will deputize their teachers in administrative roles within the team set-up to learn first-hand the qualities required to lead a winning team.
Young Reporter Programme
Children will be selected to learn media-related skills like journalism and tv/radio commentary.
Young Referee Programme
Children will be trained on how to interpret the Laws of Football and they will be given opportunities to officiate matches during the championship.
The programme ensures that children and practitioners are aware of the safeguarding measures that CAF put in place to create a safe environment for the children.