A trip to the tropics is a great opportunity to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the developed world, but for Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) Technical Director Jim Selby his Tongan development tour represents a satisfying week of exertion.
Selby’s visit has been beneficial for the development and progress of football in the country and is a follow-up after the recent OFC instructor’s course in Fiji.
During his visit to the Tongan Football Association (TFA) Selby mentored instructors Kilifi Uele and Lui Muavesi as they facilitated the first ever OFC youth coaching course conducted by locals.
“I am very pleased that instructors have been able to build on what they learnt on the course in Fiji,” Selby said.
The trip also gave Selby the opportunity to assistance Tonga’s technical director, Uele, in mapping out the road ahead for all levels of competitive play. There was added attention given to women’s and talented player’s development, as well as focusing on technical activities for schools and communities. The pair also tackled the task of putting some strategic plans in place.
An added bonus for Selby was the opportunity to cross paths with the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) and AusAid teams – OFC’s partners in the ‘Just Play’ program.
Selby, ASOP staff and the AusAid team were able participate in a number of fact-finding meetings and conduct further discussions on how to progress the program.
Field trips to rural Tongan villages proved to be a personal highlight for Selby during his visit as he saw first-hand the impact of grass roots football.
“I am really pleased with the introduction of grass roots football. Children have responded in numbers, which is a good sign for the future” Selby said.
For TFA Technical Director Uele the Selby’s visit and mentoring has been beneficial on a number of levels.
“I am thankful for Jim’s expertise. Without Jim we wouldn’t have the opportunity to pilot ‘Just Play’ in conjunction with ASOP and AusAid , we have managed to select appropriate communities who are capable of conducting the pilot programs but most importantly we were able to prove to our partners the ability to start the program on our own” Kilifi said.
Courtesy of TFA Media