Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says it will strive to achieve an HIV and AIDS free future football generation by spreading the UNAIDS Protect the Goal campaign to all corners of the country.
FAM first vice president James Mwenda made the remarks when he officially opened a three day Protect the Goal Football and HIV coaching clinic at Africa Bible College in Lilongwe.
Mwenda said the game has lost a lot of personnel at all levels due to ignorance on the pandemic a thing he said should end with the project.
“We have lost great players at a younger age, administrators, and referees because of lack of information. Much as FAM has the main mandate to develop, administer, organise and grow the game we must protect it as well from the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
“We need the young players who are the future to get drilled in such important life skills by their own coaches. If this young people are empowered through the game of football and comprehensive knowledge on HIV, they will be able to protect themselves and others from HIV. It is important that the coaches targeted are those coming from rural communities where ignorance is at a higher level,” said Mwenda.
Mwenda thanked UNAIDS, UNICEF, NAC and Malawi government for providing technical and financial support towards the project.
This is a second course following the one held in Thyolo for Southern Region and facilitator captain John Kaputa, who is FAM technical director said the courses will also help grow the country’s Youth coaches base.
“For us to develop the game we need a lot of expert coaching at grassroots level. We have failed to produce good players because we don’t have enough coaches at developmental level.
“So aside from championing the fight against Aids was are developing the game by developing community coaches. The Clinic has attracted 50 participants from across the Central Region,” said Kaputa.
FAM is expected to hold a similar course in the North early next year.–Additional reporting by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times