Since its inception last year, the Digicel/JFF Grassroots Football Programme has trained nearly 600 coach participants from football confederations island-wide through its Coach Educator Programme. This programme is expected to improve the quality of football coaching talent at the parish level. Andre Virtue, Coordinator of the Digicel/JFF Grassroots Programme, sees the Coach Educator Programme as an important part of sustaining Jamaican Football as a whole.
He said, “If Grassroots football is not encouraged, football at the highest level will suffer and the only way to grow grassroots is to multiply leaders or coach educators.” Virtue further noted that the Coach Educator programme is aimed at equipping local football confederations with the tools to sustain and eventually grow Grassroots football in their respective parishes.
The Coach Educator Programme employs a combined theoretical and practical teaching method to properly prepare participants for the role of supervising aspiring players who are not exposed to the game competitively. Coach educators are taken through a classroom session where they are taught basic skills such as team building and the roles and responsibilities of the coach. They are then taken unto the field to put these skills into action supervising the young players who are part of the Digicel/JFF Grassroots Football programme
Jermaine Gordon, Physical Education Teacher and participant in the Coach Educator Programme, believes it has helped him to work better with younger footballers. Gordon, who is desirous of coaching on the local scene said, “I am used to working with 9 year olds and up so this programme has shown me how to adjust my drills to accommodate younger age groups.”
Commenting on the Coach Educator Programme, Tahnida Nunes, Digicel’s senior sponsorship manager said, “Digicel has partnered with the Jamaica Football Federation to foster the development of Jamaican football among young players and we hope the graduates of the Grassroots Coach Educator Programme will advance this process.”
The Digicel/JFF Grassroots Football programme will host a one-day coach educator session this Saturday where coach educators from eastern confederation parishes will receive further training.