The Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has said it will fight to have a future football generation which will be free from HIV/AIDS by promoting the UNAIDS “protect the goal campaign” in the country.
Fam first vice president, Peter Mwenda, made the remarks when he officially opened a three day workshop under the theme “Protect the Goal Football and HIV coaching clinic” at Africa Bible College in Lilongwe.
Mwenda said the football fraternity will be helped by this project as it will be giving out information concerning the HIV/AIDS pandemic which has claimed a lot of lives in Malawi’s football circles.
“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/AIDS pandemic,” said Mwenda.
He added that young football players will be helped as they will be given the technical know-how on how they can protect themselves and others from the spread of the HIV pandemic.
“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,” he said.
Mwenda further said that it is of great importance that the coaches being targeted are from rural areas where ignorance is at its highest level in the country. Fam’s technical director, John Kaputa, said the courses will also be aimed at helping the development of the country’s youth coaches’ base as the game of football needs expert coaching at grassroots level.
“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,” said Kaputa.
Apart from championing the fight against Aids, Kaputa said Fam is also developing the game of football by developing community coaches and he added that the project has attracted 50 participants from the Central Region.
This was not the first time for Fam to have this kind of course as it had a similar course in Thyolo for Southern Region coaches and the Malawi FA is also expecting to hold a similar course in the Northern Region early next year.
The clinic is being carried out with technical and financial support from UNAIDS, UNICEF, National Aids Commission (NAC) and Malawi government.