FIFA instructor stresses importance of grassroots football
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
FIFA Instructor Sam Schweingruber today stressed the need for a strong grassroots program to develop football in Brunei.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the five-day FIFA Grassroots Coaching Course at National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) House, the Swiss said that success in grassroots should be seen from a different perspective.
The course, which is held annually and includes both theory and practical sessions, will teach the 20 participants about grassroots philosophy, basic skills of football, the importance of small sided games, how to organise football tournaments and festivals.
The course will conclude with a festival organised by the participants on Saturday.
“When most people think about football, they think about winning, competing, television… But without good grassroots, you will never have quality football that people want to watch,” said Schweingruber.
“FIFA has been organising grassroots courses in almost every country for the last eight or nine years, so this is not a new concept.
“The main objective (of the course) is more participation and more kids falling in love with football.
“The kids, parents, sponsors…They know that a FIFA representative is here – and that will bring success.
“When you hear the word ‘success’, you think about results. But for me, ‘success’ is when after I am gone this week, there are more people who are passionate and motivated about football and dying to help grassroots - and we will have children who have more interest in the game and want to keep playing it.
“I have been here for only one day and I am in the process of better understanding Brunei football, and I have been reading, hearing, observing and evaluating the current situation in Brunei – and hopefully find ways to tailor-make and adjust the lessons and curriculum to fit this environment. I already have some ideas.
“Brunei, like Switzerland, is a country with a small population – so this leaves me with a fun challenge,” added Schweingruber, who founded the Sports and Leadership Training (SALT) Academy in 2006, a community-based football program in Cambodia which combines sports coaching with life skill workshops, vocational training, and community engagement.
Schweingruber, who holds dual Cambodian citizenship, coached Cambodian powerhouses Phnom Penh Crown to the Cambodian League title in 2014 and 2015.
The course was declared open by NFABD Technical Director Yvon Avry, who has prior experience conducting such courses in the past.
“You must know that before working at NFABD, I was also an instructor of this FIFA Grassroots Course, and I am very attached and attentive to the development of grassroots and youth football – before, all over the world with FIFA, and now here in Brunei,” he said in his speech.
“I wish that this course will be a beginning for you (participants) and we will be pleased to count on you for our development programs.
“I wish also that you will take some initiative and be active in grassroots football, to be sure that more children have the joy of discovering and practising football.”