The Cook Islands Football Association (CIFA) held their inaugural Future Stars grassroots festival earlier this month, which catered for over 100 kids between the ages of five and 13 at its complex in Matavera.  

The Future Stars festival was initiated by CIFA, with a framework based on the OFC Player Development Grassroots Programme – to inspire kids and provide them with a positive first experience of football.  

Basic football activities, small-sided games and skills challenges such as dribbling, shooting, passing and juggling featured at the event.  

CIFA Academy elite players who participated in the CIFA Youth Tour to Auckland earlier this year were also invited to volunteer and lead activities for the participants.  

CIFA Technical Director and event facilitator Tahiri Elikana said it was a positive first event.  

“It was great to see over 100 kids keen to learn football down at the complex,” Elikana said.   

“As for our CIFA Academy players, it was a good opportunity for them to be introduced to coaching and refereeing which could be job possibilities for them to pursue in the future.”