Teachers successfully complete FIFA F4S Child Safeguarding training

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Nine teachers representing schools taking part in the inaugural Guyana Football Federation-Blue Water Shipping Under-15 Girls’ National Secondary School Championship have concluded a comprehensive three-day FIFA Football For School (F4S) workshop with a focus on Child Safeguarding.

Orin Francois, GFF’s Senior Child Welfare and Protection Officer, facilitated the seminar, which was held at the Federation’s National Training Centre in Providence, East Bank Demerara.

Ahead of the eagerly anticipated May 4 kickoff for the latest girls’ secondary school tournament in Guyana, educators Saskia David, Janacy Johnson, Thon Barnwell, Riaz Rupnarain, Christopher Gaskin, Tinesha Trotman, Akiliah Butcher, Anandi Blair and Gailan Barnwell, completed the F4S training module and familiarised themselves with the GFF Child Safeguard Policy.

Launched in 2022 with the firm support of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, the F4S programme advocates the utilisation of sport as a means to cultivate crucial life skills. More than 80 teachers nationwide have now undergone training in the F4S philosophy.

In line with FIFA’s Guardians initiative, the GFF Child Safeguarding policy maintains rigorous protocols to ensure the welfare of every child engaged in the sport.

Orin Francois, GFF’s Senior Child Welfare and Protection Officer, conducted the sessions

GFF President Wayne Forde aims to ensure that all officials involved in youth football undergo the GFF Child Safeguarding training over the next few months.

Course Facilitator Francois said he was pleased with the group’s response over the three days, adding that they have acknowledged “that the sessions have deepened their understanding of the F4S programme and given them fresh insights into the GFF’s child safeguarding measures.”

GFF is committed to ensuring a safe and enriching environment for every child who enjoys playing football. The Blue Water Shipping Under-15 Girls’ National Secondary School Championship marks the start of the F4S programme competitive phase. It will see more than one thousand student-athletes from sixty public schools compete on fields across Guyana.

At the end of the workshop, Anandi Blair attached to North Georgetown Secondary shared that she has a greater appreciation for the game of football.

“I did not know you can actually use football to illustrate life skills. I wasn’t a big fan of football but this programme is a very educational programme.”

Riaz Rupnarain of Queen’s College added that the training session “was more than I expected.”

“They taught us that football is not just a game that we want to go out there and get the kids to win and put our school’s name at the top, but it’s for them to first develop skills that they can use in their lives… and more so to have fun ultimately at the end of the day.”

Towanda McCalmon, F4S Coordinator and Physical Education Sports Officer attached to the Unit of Allied Arts in the Ministry of Education, highlighted that “some of our participants never had an interest in football training but after the sessions they have seen how students can benefit and how it can actually be a life changing sport because of the transference of life skills…during the game…on the field and off the field in a safe conducive environment.”

Teachers from Soesdyke Secondary, Mocha Secondary, South Secondary, New Campbellville Secondary and Tucville Secondary also attended the seminar.

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