Talents unearthed as GFF Kool Kids futsal festival concludes
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has successfully concluded its summer futsal festival, with more than 200 children participating in fun, weekly sessions made possible by a ground-breaking programme partnership with the Guyana Beverages Inc. and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport.
A unique private-public sector initiative, the GFF Kool Kidz Summer Futsal Festival was staged across six Saturdays at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, enabling girls and boys between the ages of five and 10 to experience the joy of football in a safe, age-appropriate professional coaching environment.
Underlining the success of the first phase of the festival, the three parties have agreed to stage the programme every year, including the development of an Under-11 futsal tournament.
“I am very elated – the programme is a first in Guyana, and the Guyana Beverages Inc. is happy to be a part of it,” said Guyana Beverages Inc. General Manager Samuel Arjoon.
“But, more important than that are the young kids who have been exposed to football – we want to see this programme running for the next four years, and we want to see you all again next year.”
GFF President Wayne Forde said he had been impressed by the support given to the programme by parents, which had enabled the sessions to achieve the desired positive impact on children in Guyana.
“This is nothing short of an extraordinary experience for the GFF, the Guyana Beverages Inc., the Government of Guyana and the young boys and girls from the community,” said GFF President Wayne Forde.
“What struck me and our technical team is the level of talent we saw. We really have a good platform to build on.”
One satisfied parent, Deji Aderemi, said he had looked forward to attending the festival every week. “It’s a wonderful programme,” he said.
“It gives kids the opportunity to express their talent and love for football. It’s a window for kids to come together to sharpen their skills and develop their passion for football.”
His son, Joshua, described the experience as “exciting” and “fun”.
“It was a good experience to play with different players from all around Guyana,” he said.
The sessions were managed by the GFF Technical Department, with senior men’s national team assistant coach Wayne Dover playing an instrumental role.
Dover shared that more than 200 children had participated over the six weekly sessions.
“It was remarkable,” he said. “This programme is a step in the right direction because it helps us see the next generation of players from the grassroots level. The parents are very upbeat and did not want this programme to stop.”
The futsal initiative builds on an existing collaboration between the GFF and the Guyana Beverages Inc., launched in 2018, to run weekly grassroots sessions with qualified coaches for young children across Guyana. (GFF)