At least 600 primary teachers, earmarked to be deployed to train 11-year-old pupils throughout Malawi, are undergoing a football coaching course organised by Fifa and FAM.
Dubbed Eleven for Health Football Programme Coaching Course, the training, which started on Monday at the Kamuzu Academy in Kasungu, is expected to equip the teachers with skills on how to bring male and female pupils together and promote awareness on health issues that have impact on their everyday lives.
According to the leader of the national project John Kaputa, the course, is being facilitated by Fifa instructor Mauritanian Ranjeev Boodhah with assistance from 22 local coaches who underwent a similar training last year.
Kaputa, who is also Football Association of Malawi (FAM) technical director, on Tuesday said the first phase of the training, which will be completed on Friday, involves 300 teachers from Central and Northern region districts.
He said another group of 300 teachers from Southern Region districts will be trained next week.
Kaputa also said at the end of the training, each primary school will receive a starter pack of soccer equipment such as soccer balls, kits, bibs, cones, whistles, coaching manuals, bags and stop-watches.
“Through the programme, two teachers from each of the country’s 300 primary schools will be trained as coaches. We want to use football as a tool of changing the lifestyles of pupils in terms of their perceptions on gender and health related issues,” he said.
The training is also expected to assist in creating awareness among pupils on health issues such as malaria prevention and drug and alcohol abuse.