Saturday 12 November 2022, 09:00

Development and diversity at FIFA Coach Educators course in India

  • FIFA has organized the onsite course for coach educators` in India

  • The aim is to raise the competences of Indian coach educators, coaches and ultimately that of the players

  • Among the challenges of the AIFF, the size of the country and the diversity of cultures between the different provinces

After stops in Brazil, Australia, Senegal and Canada, the coach educators` development pathway programme has made a stop in India. Organised by FIFA's Coaching Development Department and led by its Senior Manager Mohamed Basir and FIFA Technical Expert Mohamad Bassem, the onsite course further enabled 19 coach educators selected by the Indian Football Federation (AIFF) to benefit from FIFA's advice and expertise. In line with the FIFA President's Vision 2020-2023, the course offered the Indian coach educators the opportunity to apply their key take-aways from the e-learning and online course in a practical onsite environment as well as share their experiences in Goa from November 1-5, 2022, after two initial parts of the program. "The FIFA Coach Educators` Development Pathway project is a unique way to develop local talent," appreciates Savio Medeira, FIFA Technical Expert, and AIFF Head of Coach Education. "The whole project is well planned and organized to develop local coach educators. The on-site course complements the e-learning and online course to better understand the nuances of the role of a coach educator which has various characteristics. I wholeheartedly thank FIFA and the coaching development team for this opportunity that will help us develop organized and mature coach educators."

A positive learning environment

Organization, precisely, is a major challenge in a country of more than 1 billion people, divided into 28 states and territories. "To manage this diversity, in collaboration with AIFF, the profile of the candidates ensures that they come from a good geographical spread," says Mohamed Basir. "Each comes with their own experiences, skills, intimate knowledge of their own ecosystems, linguistic and cultural complexities, and other nuances. These factors are important in the teaching and learning process, as they accelerate the building of trusting relationships to create a positive learning environment," said Basir, senior manager of FIFA's Coaching Development Department. Once back in their home regions, the participants of the seminar will be able to carry out their mission with new skills adapted to their local specificities. However, they all have one common goal in mind: the overall improvement of the standard of football in India, which they will be able to achieve by first improving themselves individually. "This course in Goa, India, has given me all the tools to be a good mentor and developer of coach educators, which will help me guide and mentor my fellow coach educators to build a strong coach education system to raise the standard of coaching in India," says Shakti Chauhan, a coach instructor in the easternmost state of Gujarat. For her part, Anju Turambekar says she is "honoured to be part of the project. It has been a rewarding journey and has helped me enormously in improving my leadership qualities, my approach to adult education, my knowledge, my skills and my attitude," adds the coach educator from the state of Maharashtra.

A reference point for the future

India's youngest female AFC 'A' licensee also launched the AIFF Grassroots development program and the Mission XI Million program, introduced prior to the FIFA U-17 World Cup hosted by India in 2017. "The best use of these experiences will be to strive to become a better coach educator to contribute to the country's comprehensive coach education system." This is also the goal of Shailesh Karkera, lead educator and Head of the Grassroots Department at AIFF. "During this program, there was a lot of learning and reflection where I got first-hand experience of the various roles played by a coach educator," he assures, not failing to highlight the role played by "the able leadership of FIFA's technical experts." "Definitely, this course could never satiate the hunger to learn and meet the mathematical needs for football education of the multitude of coaches in India. But I see this course as a quality benchmark for future AIFF coaching courses," concluded Mohamed Basir.