UEFA Grassroots Day on the 22nd May was marked by activities involving schoolchildren who participated in a series of small-sided football matches organised on the day.
The events, under the auspices of the MFA, were this year held on a regional basis at five different venues rather than at the training grounds at Ta’ Qali. In this way the playing sessions were scattered over a wide cross-section of the island.
Five nurseries from St Patrick, Hamrun Spartans, Fgura Utd, St Andrew’s and Mosta ran the event which was held jointly with the Grassroots Department of the MFA Technical Centre and the collaboration of the KMS-SPU. Gozo, under the jurisdiction of the Gożo FA, also played its part to mark Grassroots Day.
Primary schools were invited to take part in what turned out to be an enjoyable morning. Four grades of pupils, from Grade 3 to Grade 6, were able to show their football skills through the organised fun games.
To make the activity more far-reaching, several of the participating children had no idea of football.
There was a total of about 500 youngsters participating in the different venues. It was a pleasant occasion for all the pupils as well as the hosting nurseries who appreciated this very welcome initiative, this year spread over wider catchment areas. Thanks to their tutors the children were very active and enthusiastic throughout the playing sessions.
To add to the interest and enjoyment of everyone present, the women and men’s national team players mingled with the school children. The Malta players felt it was part of their duty to encourage these young children to get into sport especially football. The game gives you teamwork, health and all the values in a team sport, while keeping young people away from vice and all that is untoward in life.
This was reflected in various comments made by teachers in the sense that sport is very positive and helps in the children’s lives. Thanks to an event of this sort there is bigger exposure of football to youngsters.
Gozo’s activity had the participation of players forming part of the Gozo regional selection and a number of girls playing for the Gozo FA.
The MFA thanks General Soft Drinks for sponsoring this day’s event by providing Kristal water to all the participants.
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA