Hanley Foundation Football Project
This is a project that is aimed at developing future soccer stars, especially those who live in peri-urban and remote rural areas by providing them with proper coaching and understanding of the game of football. This will be achieved through the implementation of a well-designed youth coaching programme that will put emphasis on the critical aspects of the development of a football player.
South African teams often find it hard to compete in continental competitions. Premiership and even National First Division teams rely on foreign players to bring them results. All the above problems can be attributed to a number of reasons from off-the field to on-the filed flaws, however, reality is that if there is no proper development of players from the young age, the country will forever struggle to compete effectively.
In order for the country to produce quality players, there is a need for knowledgeable development coaches. In South Africa, there is a shortage of knowledgeable and qualified development coaches. A lot of development coaches use their own intuition to coach youngsters because they have received no training. The truth is that a lot of previously disadvantaged people still live in the rural areas where they have no access to modern technology such as internet, which makes it hard for them acquire information about coaching issues. The harsh reality is that there is a possibility that more harm than good is done to youngsters by less knowledgeable development coaches.
Looking at the state of football in the country at the present moment, there is a need for creative interventions if South Africa is ever to be a force to be reckoned with in the football fraternity.
There are a number of school competitions in the country; however, the schools with children who have an opportunity of attending football academies or those who have teachers who have received some coaching training will always stand a better chance of doing well. This shows that youngster who are not exposed to proper training and coaching will forever be disadvantaged. It is through such a project that we hope to reverse this situation and level the playing field.
Purpose and Significance
This project falls in line with one of the government’s five key priorities, which is rural development. In the ruling party’s manifesto, it is stated that people living in rural areas face the harshest conditions of poverty, food insecurity and lack of access to services on an almost daily basis. This underlines the necessity of effective rural development programs, ensuring that investment in infrastructure, services and training reaches those areas of the country that have been most adversely affected.
The aim of this project is to provide an opportunity of learning and development to school children who live in areas where there is no means or opportunities of attending football academies.
Learning the art of doing the right things in the field of play will enable youngsters to grow with good football habits which will help them to become better players. Through the implementation of a well-designed program, we hope to create good football habits at an early age, so that by the time these youngsters reach their mid-teens they could have developed excellent techniques and tactical awareness.
School Sports as an Extended Classroom
Schools have inter scholastic sports programs because they provide students with unique learning experiences that are not offered in other parts of the school curriculum. Through participation in inter scholastic sports, athletes improve strength, speed, endurance and acquire the complex skills and poise needed to perform at their best in athletic competition.
Few educators have the opportunity to affect the lives of their students more than a coach. The best coaches use their practices and competitions as extended classrooms and strive to inspire athletes to reach for their best both athletically and academically. High school students are young adults who look to their coaches for leadership, knowledge, instruction and direction.
Many lessons and values can be taught and learned through participation in competitive inter-scholastic sports such as:
- • how to set goals
- • how to compete
- • how to take risks
- • how to deal with success and failure
- • how to maintain emotional self-control
- • sacrifice
- • dedication
- • accountability and self-confidence
- • good sportsmanship
- • teamwork
- • camaraderie
- • mental toughness
- • and persistence in the face of adversity.
The project will be implemented in schools which are situated in rural areas. The schools must show a history of participating in school football competitions. 2-3 schools will be clustered together depending on their proximity, and 20 days will be spent in each cluster where the coach will be working with teachers from those schools on training and coaching the children to ensure that there is proper skills transfer.