The South African Football Association (SAFA) hosted a grassroots football festival in Durban this week – the latest in a series of festivals around the country intended to introduce youngsters between the ages of 6 and 12 to the game.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) hosted a grassroots football festival in Durban this week – the latest in a series of festivals around the country intended to introduce youngsters between the ages of 6 and 12 to the game.

As an integral part of SAFA’s Vision 2022, the grassroots programme introduces the sport to kids in a fun and interactive way. New coaches were taken through a short course to teach them the finer points of youth football coaching. They were put through their paces on the last day by giving them practical experience with the youngsters.

On Saturday, 16 July 2016, 400 kids joined in the festival and learned how to kick a ball, pass, dribble and, most importantly, score goals.

“The grassroots programme is part of FIFA’s worldwide push to introduce more kids to the game and allow them to play to have fun whilst teaching them discipline and the value of teamwork,” said Thondoo Govinden, FIFA’s Technical Development Officer for Southern Africa.”

The Mauritius-based Govinden joined the festival and coach training course.

SAFA has previously hosted festivals in all 9 provinces and has encouraged all of its 52 Regions to partner with local government to host these festivals all year round in an effort to double the numbers of people who play football in the country from three million to six million in 2022.

This is one of the cornerstones of Vision 2022.

Grassroots festivals are planned for all 9 provinces again next year.

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