Fun Football reaches more villages
The Football Federation of Samoa’s Fun Football Programme continues to woo villages and get more children to develop their skills a decade after its launching.
F.F.S. Spokesperson, Angela Lafaialii Pauga, told the Samoa Observer that currently the programme is focusing on three regions in the country: Upolu West, Upolu East and Savai’i.
“Fun Football is a free registration programme, we offer it for free to clubs, communities, schools. It develops the football skills of the children,” she said in a phone interview.
“It's a grassroots development programme and there is no cost. The [target] age group of Fun Football is from 4 to 18.
“This year alone we have a lot of villages joining the initiative. This is a good sign for us because this is the only way we can offer the clubs to encourage and grab the attention of the kids to develop their basic football skills like running, jumping in a fun and settling and positive environment.
“It's one of our key grassroots programmes that aims to provide an opportunity for children to involve and become young youth ambassadors in football."
The programme has already reached villages such as Sasina, Vailoa Palauli, Satupaitea, Maota, Sili and Iva in Savai’i.
When asked about the development of soccer in Savai’i, Pauga said: "So far it's been good we just recently reopened everything in Savai’i starting in mid-July during the Soccer Sister Festival.
“So far it's been good, especially with the support of the villages and the communities. The districts that we are targeting are Itu-o-tane and Faasaleleaga."
According to Pauga, one of their main goals is for soccer to be played in the rural areas and so far they have been getting positive feedback from the village councils and churches about the programme.
“We want football to go out to reach rural areas and especially Savai’i. Maybe there’s a Ronaldo in Itu-o-tane but the programme hasn’t reached that area. It’s something that we have been looking at,” she added.
Pauga added that one of the benefits of soccer is receiving a scholarship overseas, and as an example talked about Jarvis Alatise Filimalae, who was awarded a scholarship to Hasting Boys High School in 2017 through playing soccer and was active in the programme.
“Starting from Fun Football and went on scholarship in 2017 and he has been doing great with school," she reiterated.
There are currently six villages [including clubs, communities and schools] from Upolu West that are taking part in the Fun Football programme with seven from Upolu East and nine from Savai’i.