Resource personnel from Green Sports Africa, Kenya held a two-day grassroots football coaching course with Nigerian coaches in Lagos on capacity building and how various football academies can enhance their productivity, SUNDAY PUNCH reports.
The session had been held in Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Top Nigerian youth coaches from the south west who attended the summit unanimously revealed that the Nigerian system has stalled the growth and development of grassroots football in the country as there was no structural support, standard training facilities, lack of parental interest and motivation and the near absence of corporate patronage among other factors.
Other coaches also added that it has been difficult for them to forge ahead due to several systemic problems and other environmental factors.
Speaking at the summit which was held at the Greenwood Hotel Ikoyi, Lagos on Friday, George Ouma, said the aim of the coaching conference was to help teach and offer help in creating opportunities overseas despite the local challenges.
“We’ve noticed that there’s a lack of support in terms of sponsorship, and we are here to tackle that, to look at things like sponsorship,” Ouma said.
“We are in Nigeria to build capacity and look at how we can run our football clubs and academies gave the little that we have in terms of resources.
“How do we package ourselves to get those sponsors? What we need to realise from the coaches and even the players’ perspectives is all of these players need to go and get opportunities elsewhere, and when it comes to nations specifically, we need to make sure there are facilities but also in terms of the local challenges, we’ve seen a lot of different things here in Nigeria.
“Also, there’s no deliberate plan from the Federation and other bodies responsible for this to ensure that there is cohesion, there is competition, there is progression and that these kids are also getting paid. So those are some of the challenges that we have seen, this is the beginning for us as well as far as building sports in Africa is concerned and we’re looking forward to it.
“Our mission is to go around countries to teach capacity building, to be better coaches. We know that the pandemic affected all of us, specifically and particularly in football but a lot of times, in these conversations, our grassroots football coaches are left behind.”