Two Grassroots Coaching Course were held in Vanuatu’s northern and southern regions earlier this month, giving coaches a greater understanding of the player pathway, while equipping them with a variety of new skills.

The four-day long courses were facilitated by Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) Technical Director, Peter Takaro, with the aim of assisting coaches, teachers and volunteers to provide appropriate and enjoyable football activities for children in the 6-12-year age range.

Vital Tanemeulip, a VFF Development Officer, attended the northern region course with the goal of increasing his capacity to work with a pool of U-12 girls and boys from his MA over the course of 12 months.

Tanemeulip said the course covered a lot of topics including game principles; attack and score, defend to avoid goals, identify players action when attacking, the player development pathway, identifying the role of a grassroots coach, and preparing a training plan with all different age groups from 6-12 years.

“One of the new skills I learned during the course was the different training plans that suit children of different ages, for example the festival format for 6-8 years,” he said.

“I can utilise those skills through the Just Play and Grassroots Festival to have more participation, especially in the 6-8-year age range.”

The northern region covers four VFF Member Associations; Penama, Sanma, Torba and Luganville, and Tanemeulip said he’d like to see the continued collaboration between Just Play and Grassroots Development Officers as a result of the course.

“The Just Play Development Officers already have a good understanding of how Just Play, and will help make sure the activities and Grassroots Development Centres and Centres of Excellence work well in the four MAs,” he explained.

“I think with the Development Centres and Centres of Excellence programmes in place, all our MAs will start to have more competitive teams and players.”

Following the Grassroots Coaching Course in the northern region at Soccer City Stadium in Luganville, a southern region course was hosted in Port Vila at the VFF Teouma Academy, with Takaro supported by VFF Technical Mentor Joel Rarua.