The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has been impressed by the response to the preliminary coaching certificate course that was conducted for the Village Prison inmates last week. The coaching clinic that was conducted by BFA’s Technical officer and also CAF accredited Elite Coaching Instructor Phillimon Makhwengwe attracted 26 participants and produced a 100% pass record.
Makhwengwe said in an interview that the course went smoothly. The course included the theoretical and practical examinations for the inmates.
He said as the association they took the decision to conduct the coaching clinic for the inmates as a social corporate responsibility of the association. “It was realised that the rehabilitation of the inmates was left to the Prisons Department only yet all those who are incarcerated are our family members, relatives, team members, work and church mates. So as an organisation we felt a great compulsion to accept the request from The Prisons Services to perform our social responsibility therein and give these citizens a sense of belonging,” said the impressed instructor.
According to Makhwengwe, the inmates also deserve a second chance in life and football is one tool that they can use to give back to the society they live in. “The fact that they violated certain laws of the country does not render them rebellious against established order for life. They are remorseful repented individuals who have to be accorded opportunities to develop their football talents as well as giving back to the society,” he added.
It is BFA’s mandate to develop the game in the country and Makhwengwe said they will continue to do it using whichever method that proves to be appropriate. He pointed out that this includes helping inmates and people leaving with disability as they are no exemption to their strategy.
The preliminary coaching certificate equips the holder with the skills to coach at lower levels. With more people imparted this qualification there are hopes that an increased number of coaches will help to develop athletes from a young age. Grassroots development is a problem in the country as there are a few coaches and such coaching clinics is bringing hope that with more qualified coaches the situation will be better.
Makhwengwe revealed that with funds and time permitting they have resolved to take the coaching course to all prisons country wide. He said currently they have a project on-going at the Boys Prison at Moshupa with the British Council. It is not the first time that the BFA has conducted such courses.
According to him, they once conducted a coaching course for the Prisons Officers at Mahalapye Prisons for them to go and impart the knowledge to the inmates.