The launch of Grassroots football has been a priority of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), and the dream became a reality last week when FUFA, the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Education and Sports signed an agreement for the next five years to sustain and develop grassroots programmes throughout all the regions of Uganda.
FIFA Technical Development Officer Govinden Thondoo witnessed a ceremony in Kampala that was attended by FUFA leadership, including President Eng Moses Magogo, Vice President Darius Mugoye, Chief Executive Officer Edgar Watson and Technical Director Asuman Lubowa. The government was represented by Mr. Moses Byanguye (Local government) and Sammy Odong (Assistant Commissioner-Sports-Ministry of Education and Sports).
Thondoo used the platform to praise Uganda upon this momentous opportunity.
“It is vital to create partnerships with institutions that have control over kids who are the main target. I therefore congratulate you on behalf of the FIFA President who has put a lot of emphasis in this project to take off in Uganda” he said.
Uganda was among the three countries left in the region to launch the project. Thondoo highlighted how it is everyone’s responsibility to keep the project sustainable.
"It is easy to launch this project, but how to roll it throughout the country remains a bit challenging," he continued.
FUFA President Magogo, discussed the four different stages of football during the launch ceremony and urged all Ugandans to give the project the due blessings and support for its eventual success.
"By grassroots, we are introducing the sport to the kids, followed by the age group of 13 -17 years bracket (school football), followed by that stage of preparing the players for the bigger stage and finally the national team," he said.
"We believe in this project and it is part of our four year development plan."
Kampala was the first region concerned with 25 primary schools teachers, six regional coordinators, a technical director and the women development officer running a five-day Grassroots coaching course which was held at Jinja Njeri Technical Centre.
A grassroots festival at the Kampala Secondary school football grounds on 20 September concluded the course where 500 children coming from 30 primary schools in five districts of Kampala participated in the various grassroots activities.
After this launch grassroots festivals will be organised in the selected 30 primary schools and projects will be rolled out to the central and northern regions next year as proposed in the FUFA long-term development plan from 2014 to 2018.