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OFC Learn: boosting Fiji women’s football

Annabel Rao, Fijian Women's assistant coach CREDIT: Fiji Sun

Annabel Rao has enjoyed a successful career so far as head coach of the Nasinu FC Senior Women’s side, as well being an as assistant for the Fiji National Women’s Team.

The 40-year-old has been at the heart of the Nasinu team’s increased fortunes since she began her tenure, no doubt a result of continuing her education as a coach. The OFC Learn programme has provided Annabel with the necessary tools to up-skill and pass those benefits on to her team.

It’s part of the empowerment that OFC Learn can bring, which is something Rao is passionate about.

“Football is more than just a game,” she said.

“It teaches lessons that the players carry with them after they have hung their boots. Teamwork, discipline, perseverance, goal setting handling success and failure, time management and keeping fit.”

Rao described using OFC Learn as “quite simple and easy…as soon as you get started it’s easy to understand.”

She completed nine courses, including Opposition Analysis, The Role of the Coach and an Intro to Psychology in Football. Rao also holds a Diploma in Sports Science from Fiji National University and a Diploma in Business Management from APTECH Computer School.

One of the key aspects of OFC Learn Annabel enjoyed was the ability to tap into other coaches’ knowledge.

“I really enjoyed all of it and still do. Even when I have completed these courses I still get to interact with other coaches worldwide and it’s a fascinating thing to go through and just reading what other coaches have gone through, and picturing what I am going through, makes me hungry to read more on how they are overcoming it.”

Overall Rao said OFC Learn is “awesome and great to use. It’s very understandable and interesting at the same time.”

The Fiji women’s side have been back in action for the first time in over two years recently, playing The Philippines in two friendlies earlier this month. Their next assignment is the OFC Women’s Nations Cup, which kicks off in July.

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