During a series of meetings this week in Curacao, CONCACAF presented its Grassroots program to the Curacao Football Federation (FFK), local government officials, members of the press, and key representatives of the school system.
Through these engagements, which started Tuesday, individuals gathered to discuss the nation’s overall football objectives, while offering an opportunity to demonstrate the sport’s positive impact in communities.
The pilot program features a progressive approach in introducing sports as an educational aid. The initiative - - to be implemented in the coming months at 12 local schools - - consists of promoting football development through trained instructors working with children from ages 6-12.
CONCACAF Development Director Hugo Salcedo stressed the importance of this program to increase participation in the sport, promoting essential values and developing football at the youth level. The long-term goal is creating strategic avenues for more competitive play through interschool tournaments.
Rignaal Francisca, President of the Curaçao Football Federation, stated: “Our aim is to work with CONCACAF and the government to implement the program in all local schools using sport as a means to educate and raise children that can contribute to societal development, while enhancing football skills to create competitions in the future.”
On Thursday, CONCACAF held a demonstration of the program at the Prinses Margriet School, where the Confederation’s instructors carried out dynamic warm-up sessions, in which children played games to get into the spirit of the initiative.
The school’s Director Xiomara Mathilda was very enthusiastic about students’ excitement to play football.
“Making sport available to children with limited resources helps ensure they receive positive experiences,” said Mathilda.
The program concludes with a Grassroots festival involving more than 400 children on Friday and Saturday.
Grassroots is fundamental to the development of football. Through this program, CONCACAF shares its philosophy of utilizing the game as a platform to uphold the ideals of fair play, leadership, diversity and team spirit.