Monday 15 May 2023, 22:00

Football for Schools arrives in Chad

  • The Football for Schools programme was launched in Chad on 11-13 May

  • 120 schoolchildren and 46 educators participated in the event

  • 100 Chadian schools will adopt the programme After recently visiting Asia (Uzbekistan), then stopping off in Europe (Latvia), Football for School is back in the Mother Continent. Chad has become the first member of UNIFACC (the Central African Football Federations' Union) to benefit from this ground-breaking programme, which aims to make the game more accessible to boys and girls around the world by incorporating football activities into the education system. Forty-six educators from 20 of the country's 23 provinces met in N'Djamena, the capital of Chad, for 72 hours of theoretical and practical training. Some of them travelled more than 1000 km to take part in this important scheme for young Chadians. These coach-educators, who are also teachers of physical education and sport, will be tasked with establishing the programme in their respective regions. "The PE teachers who participated in this course were really motivated and engaged. We’re confident that they will now start training using the cascade model [of training the trainer] to expand the programme to the whole country," explained Alberto Giacomini, a consultant, expert and coach with Football for Schools (F4S). "Potentially, the programme can have a huge impact in Chad, especially in the most remote areas that are facing many challenges," he added.

59 schools from all across Chad are already planning to integrate F4S into their education system. This figure is expected to double over the next few months, so that thousands of young Chadian boys and girls can fully reap the benefits of this project: being introduced to the philosophy of football and inculcated in social skills and essential life values, such as respect, acceptance, consideration, openness, mutual support, solidarity, listening, etc. "Through this programme, I see a promising future for Chad, which is struggling to assert itself in the field of football," said Mbaikara Nangyo, Secretary General of the Normalisation Committee of the Chadian Football Association. “This is the first initiative of its kind in our country, and I welcome it.” The Secretary General kindly attended the official launch day on May 13 in the company of Fatimata Sidibe, FIFA’s Football for Schools Programme Director, as well as Mahamat Seid Farah, Secretary General of Chad’s Ministry of National Education and Civic Promotion, and Tadio Gali, the Assessor in charge of sports and leisure.

Football For Schools in Chad

The children also received the Bouba and Zaza books from the Childhood Cultures series published by UNESCO about their passion for football.

But the stars of the day were the children. More than 120 of them took part in the festivities amid an edifying atmosphere at a sunny Milezi Football Academy – a genuine hotbed of talent. Matches, games and exercises punctuated this historic day for Chad and for these young people eager to learn the basics of the world’s most popular sport. And all thanks to F4S, which is sure to grow the beautiful game even more. After this delightful stopover in Chad, Football for Schools departs for the Caribbean to meet other schoolchildren and maybe unearth future champions.