11 Jul 2018 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 11 JUL (NAMPA) The Namibian Football Association (NFA) and the United Nations Childrens Fund (Unicef) on Tuesday launched a five-year strategic plan for their Galz & Goals project at the NFA Girls Centre in Windhoek.
The plan is mainly aimed at increasing the percentage of adolescent girls aged between 10-20 years playing football through mass participation from 15 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020 in the 10 regions where the programme is currently operating.
It will also give guidance on how to further grow the project as a development programme for young aspiring football players.
It is valid from 2018 to 2022.
Launching the programme, Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero commended the partnership between the two entities and called on other sport codes to adapt similar approaches to develop sports, especially for children.
I hereby instruct the Namibia Sports Commission to take this strategic plan to other sport codes so as to build not only the girl child but a Namibian child from an early age, she said.
Tjongarero also criticised those who hide behind culture as a way of supressing the girl child, saying time has come for the girl child to be treated equally with their male peers.
Within 10-15 years such excuses must be phased out. Our children must not go through things we went through. It must end, she lashed.
The deputy minister further called on neighbouring countries to adopt the strategy used by the NFA on the Galz & Goals project, saying this is for the good leadership of tomorrow.
Speaking at the same occasion, UNICEF Country Representative, Rachel Odede boasted that in 2009, the project has seen more than 4 000 members participating in football leagues, life skills education and healthy lifestyle activities in 12 communities in 10 regions.
Football being the fastest growing sport amongst girls in Namibia, the potential for growth of the Galz & Goals programme is huge. This strategic plan was developed to provide guidance to ensure effective, sustainable growth of the project, she said.
Odede added that an impact evaluation study published in 2016 shows that young girls who took part in the programme showed improved self-confidence, leadership skills, improved school performance and life changing knowledge of HIV and AIDS amongst others.
The Goals & Galz project is a national programme aimed at increasing empowerment of adolescent girls to make healthy choices on and off the field.