After being run sporadically since its introduction in 2012, the Papua New Guinea Football Association’s Grassroots Programme is making good progress this year under the watchful eye of the federation’s Coach Educator Margaret Aka. 

Catered for kids between 6-12 years old, the programme takes participants through a range of football activities and games in a fun learning environment, with the aim of generating an enduring interest in football.  

The sessions are facilitated by coaches who have attended grassroots and youth coaching courses in PNG.  

Since January sessions have been rolled out in Buka, the National Capital District Public Servants Soccer Association, Port Moresby Soccer Association, and Koupa Soccer Association.  

Originally established in 2012, the programme became a focal point of the country’s football activity again this year.  

Aka said it’s an important programme because it puts youth at the forefront of development efforts.  

“We are responsible for shaping our kids’ footballing futures and development into adulthood,” Aka said.  

“We need to understand that our investment in resources, time and effort contribute to not only their development in football but also shaping the future of our society.  

“The most enjoyable part of working with these kids is having an impact on their lives, while allowing them to be themselves, have fun and learn new skills.  

“Playing football to these kids means freedom. I feel satisfied knowing they enjoy their freedom with laughter and smiles.”

Margaret Aka (right) during a PNGFA grassroots session. Photo Credit: PNGFA Media.