The Antigua and Barbuda Football Association concluded its six-day certification course for coaches in “Grassroots” football at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Saturday July 7th with a Grassroots Festival for kids 6 -12 years hosted by FIFA Grassroots Instructor Marcos Tinoco.

The Festival precede the awards ceremony, a total of 125 kids (boys and Girls) from various schools and clubs participated in the festival which was used by the FIFA Instructor to test the knowledge and skill of the coaches before certification. 33 coaches from the various schools and Clubs participated in this initiative put on by the Antigua and Barbuda football Association.

The day ended on a positive note with speeches from President Everton Gonsalves, General Secretary Gordon Derrick. Both Mr. Gonsalves and Mr. Derrick reminded the coaches the mission of the ABFA is to “Develop the game, to allow football to be discovered by as many people as possible, and to attract new players to the sport by giving them access to football in their own environment, whatever their age, sex, physical condition. We are very happy to have the participation of thirty – three energetic young individuals of our country and we want to tell the general public that this Association will work with all of coaches to ensure the Grassroots project in Antigua and Barbuda start on the right note with all stakeholders. “

The facilitator Mr. Marcos Tinoco stated “The Grassroots program is a program that is geared toward preparing children within the ages of six to twelve with activities in a fun-like environment, where limited coaching is involved and more participation. It is for boys and girls and the person responsible to carry out these activities are not called coaches, but coach educators and their job is to provide the children with those activities’ FIFA see this as a very useful project. As we have realized over the years, the children of this age were being thrown in different direction, some being coached and some not being coached and FIFA is saying that at this age, children need to begin to discover the game and have more fun and let the game be the teacher”

The Next phase of the Grassroots Programme is to set up Grassroots Center around the island.

Grassroots football is football for everyone, by everyone, everywhere