Wednesday 30 August 2023, 16:00

Aserri target youth football boost with FIFA Forward backing

  • Aserri FC have completed the renovation of their sports complex

  • Improvements were made to the changing rooms, stand and lights

  • Club President Carlos Solano: “This project serves as motivation for young people, inspiring them to dream big”

In Vuelta de Jorco, a rural coffee-growing district in the canton of Asseri, situated a little over 20km southwest of San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, many football fans’ lives are about to change.

In order to adhere to recent regulations put in place by the Costa Rican Football Association’s (FCRF) Licensing Committee, Aserri FC have completed an ambitious project that entailed the total redevelopment of their changing rooms and sports complex.

The project, the aim of which was to boost the development and competitiveness of youth football – for boys and girls – in this part of Costa Rica, was executed jointly by the FIFA Forward Programme, a local electricity company, the Municipality of Aserri and the Cantonal Sport Committee.

“This project enhances conditions for playing football in a rural area, outside of Costa Rica’s major metropolitan areas, and not only benefits a professional team in the second division, but also a whole community made up of children, young people, fans and players,” said FCRF Project Manager Freddy Arturo Quiros Campos.

In addition, he highlighted the role played by various stakeholders in the implementation of the project. “The support of the professionals in the FIFA Regional Office in Panama is crucial to the success of infrastructure development, given that, on top of financial backing, they offer advice and follow-up assistance in the management of the project, with regard to design, construction and administration. “These initiatives demonstrate how FIFA, the FCRF, the clubs and public institutions can join forces to strengthen the development of football and society generally.”

The project concluded with a series of impressive improvements to the sports complex of Aserri FC, who currently play in the second tier of Costa Rican football, in a stadium with a capacity of around 300.

“Thanks to the support we received from FIFA and its Forward Programme, we now have facilities in a rural district of Costa Rica that we could never have dreamed of,” said Carlos Solano, President of Aserri FC. “We are extremely pleased, grateful and excited that they have included our club in their infrastructure projects and put a smile on the face of this community by helping its socio-economic development.” The changing room area has been redesigned to provide suitable and functional spaces for the home team, the away team and the referees.

The home changing room will now feature a 40m2 space with a dressing room and locker for each player, four showers, two toilets and two washbasins. The visitors’ equivalent boasts an area of 35m2, and will benefit from the same services as the home one. For the referees, meanwhile, there will be 15m2 of space, with a dressing room, two showers, a toilet and a washbasin. Lastly, there will also be a 15m2 storage area.

FIFA Forward in Aserri, Costa Rica

Additionally, the existing stand has been repaired and expanded. It now has a metal roof and an enamelled sheet covering that provides protection during bad weather.

Finally, a chain-link fence was installed on a metal structure surrounding the stadium, providing the site with security and a boundary, in addition to a pedestrian gateway that facilitates access to the adjacent basketball court, where 30 parking spaces – with two spaces for individuals with reduced mobility – were furnished.

A firm focus on sustainability was also a key facet of the project. LED lights were brought in to reduce energy consumption, and energy-efficient toilet fixtures and rainwater harvesting systems were installed, the latter to irrigate the pitch.

FIFA Forward in Aserri, Costa Rica

“The impact that projects like this have, not only on a sports club but also on an entire community, is incredible,” explained Derek Canavaggio, Development Manager for the FIFA Regional Office in Panama. “The whole town has benefitted. The team, as well as the fans, now have a sports complex they can call home. It’s truly marvellous to see how all of this has helped the community to thrive. From the food vendors to the craft market stalls, the new facilities have brought the town to life and provided a permanent home for the Caciques of Aserri FC.”

The completion of this project has not only resulted in an improvement in sporting facilities, but it has also created a lasting legacy for youth football in Costa Rica, delivering an ideal space for the development of future stars of the men’s and women’s games in the Central American country.

“This project serves as a motivational tool for young people, inspiring them to dream big – being part of a professional team, representing their community and Aserri Canton, and even one day winning a cap for the Costa Rican national side,” added Solano. “Initiatives like this provide all these children and young people with the opportunity to help these kinds of dreams come true.”