Yabwanya to construct football academy in Karonga

Canadian-based Malawi football enthusiast  Willy Yabwanya Phiri will construct and establish a fully-fledged soccer academy in the northern border district of Karonga  for the purpose of developing talent and the wellbeing of the youths.

Yabwanya Phiri:  Academy in Karonga

In a telephone interview with Nyasa Times from  his base in Canada, Yabwanya said the project shall not only focus on soccer, but also help to combat such issues as

child labour and rights, issues of HIV/AIDS and STIs, development of technical and entrepreneurial skills in young people.

The project will also help in capacity building of different people involved in running and regulating the sport of soccer (managers, coaches, referees, doctors, etc) and many others.

“As compared to other countries within the region, grass root soccer development in Malawi is very poor.Grassroot soccer is a very important aspect of sports development because it helps to ignite a passion for soccer among children and builds quality in career and social aspects of prospective soccer players. It does not only develop career footballers but also help develop a sense of responsibility among young people,” said Yabwanya, who once contested for Football Association of Malawi presidenc.

Yabwanya said there is a need to revolutionize football in Malawi, so that it can be one of the career options for the youths.

“After all, soccer related activities already contribute to the workforce in Malawi at different levels, from players, officials at club level, soccer administrators and those working in soccer infrastructures like stadiums and many more. Soccer can also be used as a tool for shaping the behavior of children or young people and deal with issues of HIV/AIDS, immorality and drug and alcohol abuse,” he said.

Yabwanya said he has   decided to form the Malawi Grassroot Soccer Development Foundation.

He said the program aims at developing soccer talent in young people, from age 8 to 18. It is also intended to act as a mother body, which will network and seek sponsorship for the smaller grassroots’ soccer initiatives being implemented across the country by various organizations.

He also said the academy will tackle various aspects of football development in Malawi.

“The foundation shall strive to develop a significant crop of young people with highly developed skills in the field of soccer and other social and corporate skills. It is envisaged that young Malawian boys and girls shall be rescued from poverty and unemployment through education and sports,” he said.

The foundation shall develop a working model that shall help in networking with all smaller organization’s dealing in grass root soccer development.

The project is expected to commence later in the year.

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