BFA hosts Premier Skills programme

SHARE   |   Monday, 20 February 2017   |   By Ontametse Sugar
BFA's acting CEO Susan Lawrance BFA's acting CEO Susan Lawrance

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has just completed a one-week coaching course in partnership with the British Council under the Premier Skills initiative. Premier Skills is an international partnership of the British Council and the Premier League where they use football to develop young people around the world. British Council’s Acting Director Avanti Gutru said they want to reach about 400 women in two years around the world in the coaching course. She said the training is the first of the many activities that will happen in the next two years. “We want to leave a lasting impact in communities and parallel to the coaching courses we will deal with people living with disabilities in order to also build their self-esteem,” she said. Groot added they will run workshops and seminars and hold shows as a way of disseminating information through football. BFA’s acting CEO Susan Lawrence said they are very happy about the unique course offered by Premier Skills. She expressed excitement about the cohort of learners whose performance will be monitored thereafter. “Women are easy to teach and now let what you have learnt speak to people out there and work so hard to be able to coach beyond borders,” she said, adding that she believes they will do a great job because she knows that women are perfectionists. One of the participants said they have learnt a lot and have been assured of support whenever they will need it. “We have been taught about things like survival skills where football is not supposed to end in the pitch but it should go out there even off the pitch,” she said. They also learnt that it is their responsibility as coaches to make sure that the children enjoy what they are being taught because if they do that it will definitely bring results. The Premier Skills instructor Fatima said, being a product of Premier Skills’ programme, she was very proud to be at a stage where she can share what she learnt with other young people. She said it was important that they understood Premier Skills uses football to convey different messages in regard to age, gender, disability, and health. She said to make it in football one should be steered by passion because otherwise they will quit if they fail. “When we were taught to be educators it was about 70 of us in 2008, we came from different fields but right now there are only six educators in Botswana in Premier Skills, only two are women,” she said. Fatima highlighted that this shows how someone has to work hard if they really want to make it. One of the local coach educators Barobi Ngwako vowed to do all it takes to help the young women achieve their personal set of goals, saying they should understand that it does not mean as coaches they are jack of all trades. She said they empowered them to know that they should engage with social workers, ministry of education, ministry of health and organisations like Emang Basadi so as to be able to deal with some of the issues that they will encounter. “Even here when we were holding the course we had to deal with some of the parents who did not understand why their children were in football and we had to convince them to let the students learn,” she said.