Vice President of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Elvis Shishana, who is also the President of the SAFA Eden region, has highlighted the importance of the coaches attending the SAFA Grassroots and Live Your Goals training programme currently underway in Mossel Bay, Western Cape.

Vice President of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Elvis Shishana, who is also the President of the SAFA Eden region, has highlighted the importance of the coaches attending the SAFA Grassroots and Live Your Goals training programme currently underway in Mossel Bay, Western Cape.

Shishana presided at the official opening of the event saying development of players is key to South Africa becoming a force to be reckoned with in years to come.

“Thank you very much for honouring this call, in fact, if there’s anyone who must be excited about this it must you because some of you have been longing for this opportunity for a long time. As the Association, we have not doubt that this stage is a very important aspect of development for us because it all starts here,” said Shishana.

“When we miss these kids at such an early age, we find that at times we have lost them forever, even though some may surface years later – but the development is never the same. It is crucial that we instil the interest in the game now so they grow with the correct mentality and technique if they want to reach greater heights.”

The training will run until Friday, 24 February – culminating in a football festival for about 200 children, boys and girls from six years of age.

Shishana was accompanied by the deputy mayor of Mossel Bay, Dirk Coetzee.

“It is an honour and a great privilidge to be here with you. Sport has taught me a lot of things, like working hard. I am 42 years old and I am the Deputy Mayor of Mossel Bay – that did not come from doing nothing, it was because I am actively involved my community, and like you, I am putting energy into something I believe in. I became a successful person in life because I was taught how to work for stuff. I was not a natural but had to work hard to achieve in life – same as you coaches, some of you are naturals but other have to work harder to make it,” said Coetzee, speaking on behalf of the Mayor of Mossel Bay.

“You are also privilidged to be here, and you are working on something that can really bring change within our communities, our region, our province and our country. Sport brings change and it also levels the playing field, especially with our background where you have to compare the old South Africa and the new one. We need things that can equalise, and sport is the equaliser – that is why we need to put a lot of energy and seriousness into this project. Mossel Bay embraces sport and we would like to thank SAFA for bringing sport to our town.”

This is the first time SAFA Eden hosts this event, which is attended by 30 coaches from seven Local Football Associations (LFA).

The SAFA Grassroots and the Live Your Goals training programme is conducted by SAFA Instructor, Boebie Williams alongside trainee instructor Maud Khumalo, who is also the Banyana Banyana assistant coach.

The Grassroots Programme involves both boys and girls while The “LIVE YOUR GOALS” campaign is a FIFA-sanctioned project aimed at aiding member associations as they strive to create awareness and to develop football for girls and women in their respective countries.

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